- The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said that Kogi state governor cannot be disqualified from contesting election in November over alleged double registration
- INEC said Yahaya Bello cannot be prosecuted because he enjoys constitutional immunity as a governor
- The commission also said that the electoral act does not permit it to prosecute the governor
The chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Yakubu Mahmood, on Wednesday, October 30, said the commission cannot disqualify the governor of Kogi state, Yahaya Bello, over allegations of double registration.
Mahmood, while addressing journalists in Abuja, said double registration is not an offence under the electoral act.
The INEC chairman, in his reaction to a suit filed by the governorship candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Natasha Akpoti, against Bello's double registration as a voter, said Bello, a serving governor, cannot be prosecuted because of the immunity he enjoys.
“On the issue of double registration, there is nothing INEC can do with someone who has constitutional immunity. The governor in question has a guaranteed constitutional immunity,” Mahmood said.
Stating that INEC, even as an independent body, is handicapped on the matter. Mahmood said the commission cannot move against Bello due to double registration.
He also denied allegations that the commission had received a partisan ad-hoc list from the ruling party ahead of the November 16, Kogi election.
Mahmood said it has become a trend for politicians to make all sorts of baseless allegations against the commission before an election period.
He also said that INEC and its staff will not be deterred from carrying out its constitutional duty at the elections.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that Akpoti had in a suit filed before a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja called for the disqualification of Governor Bello over double registration.
The court, however, in its ruling rejected the prayer sought by Akpoti ahead of the November 16, 2019 poll.
Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu in her ruling struck out the suit by Akpoti against the serving governor.
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