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Court Upturns INEC Disqualification, Reinstate and Clears Natasha, SDP To Contest Kogi Gov’ship Poll

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The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, Thursday, has upturned the illegal disqualification of the  candidate of Social Democratic Party (SDP), Barr Natasha Akpoti  by the Independent National Electoral Commission, mandating the commission to  include her on the November 16 governorship election in Kogi State. 
In her ruling, Hon. Justice FOG Ogunbanjo said by the virtue of section 31 (1) of the Electoral Act,  INEC does have power whatsoever to reject or disqualify any candidate. 
Justice Ogunbanjo said, “the word shall means compulsory, that INEC cannot reject any candidate submit to it by the commission, it is l not within the administrative post of INEC.
Ogunbanjo held further that it is only a lawful constituted court or Tribunal that have the power to disqualify political candidate whatsoever
“The Defendant (INEC) cannot assume the position of a quasi court to determine who qualify and who does not qualify whatsoever, every evidence shows the Defendant has not filed any case against the action of the plaintiff before rejecting or disqualifying the plaintiff.
“None of the case cited by the  Defendant shows INEC has power to reject or disqualify any candidate whatsoever.
“I do not need to bore this honourable court with the judgment of the Supreme Court on the case of Action Congress vs  INEC 2007, but I will advise the Defendant to read the judgment and be guided by it 
“The honorable court therefore grants all the relief of the Plaintiff and rejects all the relief filed by the plaintiff (INEC)”, she said.
Reacting, the National Chairman of SDP, Prof Tunde Adeniran said,  the victory is for all Nigerians, adding that the constitution should always be respected instead of the unnecessary hurdle before the right thing will be done.
Also reacting, the SDP governorship candidate, Barr. Natasha Akpoti said the victory has set a new dawn in Nigeria, adding that the journey to liberate Kogi State has begun.


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