INEC ‘reprimands’ legal officer who submitted letter of withdrawal in Kano guber appeal
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has denied withdrawing from the appeal process in the ongoing Kano governorship election petition case.
INEC national commissioner and chairman of its committee on information and voter education, Sam Olumekun, disclosed this in a statement Saturday in Abuja.
He said the commission’s legal officer, who purportedly withdrew from the case, has been reprimanded.
He said: “The attention of the Commission has been drawn to media reports based on a letter written by the Legal Officer of our Kano State office indicating that the Commission had withdrawn from the appeal process in the ongoing Kano Governorship election petition case.
“We wish to state categorically that the letter was not authorized. It has since been withdrawn and the officer reprimanded.
“The public is therefore advised to discountenance the insinuation that the Commission has withdrawn from the case or even worse abandoned the appeal.
“We wish to state categorically that where litigants join INEC in a case, the Commission is under obligation to respond accordingly.
“We have, therefore, instructed our lawyers to proceed in line with extant policy of the Commission. The policy has not changed.”
Nigerian Sketch reported on Saturday that INEC withdrew its appeal against the judgement of the Kano Governorship Election Petition Tribunal.
In a letter dated October 6, and signed by Suleiman Alkali, the head of commission’s legal department in Kano, INEC said it withdrew its appeal as it had no reason to appeal any judgement.
“I have been instructed by the Commission headquarters that INEC as an umpire have no reason to appeal any judgment.
“Consequently, the National Commission in charge if Legal Services and National Commissioner in charge of Kano zone directed that the appeal be withdrawn and all processes for all Appeals should be forwarded to the Kano Office,” the letter, addressed to the secretary of the Kano Governorship Election Petition Tribunal, read.
On September 20, a 3-man panel sacked Governor Abba Yusuf and declared the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Nasiru Gawuna, winner of the March 18 governorship poll.
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