The Candidate of the Labour Party for Lokoja/ Kogi Kotonkarfe Federal Constituency, Zaccheaus Jonathan, has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission, ( INEC) to declare him the winner of the Saturday, 25th February 2023 polls or outrightly cancel the election as the Logo of his party was unlawfully omitted on the ballot papers.
In a press conference held on Tuesday in Lokoja, Jonathan’s spokesperson, Pastor Henry Babagbemi, said, INEC, the election management body erred in the Law by not featuring the party Logo for the House of Representatives election for the Lokoja/ Kogi federal constituency.
He disclosed that his candidate as a grassroots politician was poised to win the election but regretted that the actions of INEC has robbed his principal of the opportunity of winning the election.
He prayed INEC to declare, his principal the winner or at least reschedule the election to give room for his supporters to exercise their franchise in his favour.
He described the declaration of Danladi Suleiman Aguye of the APC as the winner of the election as biased, fraudulent and unacceptable to the party.
He added that the Saturday election could not meet the basic tenets or guidelines of the electoral Act which stipulates that all parties that presented candidates for an election must have their party logo on the ballot papers.
He regretted that the LP logo was missing, adding that, if not corrected, the act has robbed the electorate opportunity to vote for a candidate of their choice.
According to him, Zaccheaus Jonathan, candidate of the Labour Party was tipped to coast to victory as he remains the people’s choice among the contenders.
He alleged that the unlawful exclusion of the candidate from the ballot was deliberate to subvert the popular will of the people to impose an unpopular candidate on the people.
He decried the late arrival of results from Ward B and Oworo ward in Lokoja Local Government Area, saying it was unbelievable that it took almost 24 hours for results to tickled in, an action that could significantly compromise the election.
” Our candidate, Surv. Zaccheaus Jonathan has fought many political battles to secure his candidacy to run for the House of Representatives.
“His battle started from the omission of his name, loss of documents in the INEC office, and his Primary Election result forwarded to INEC headquarters was misplaced on three occasions.
” He was able to secure CTC which he used to pursue a legal journey which ended with a valid court order from a Federal High Court in Abuja ordering INEC to include him on the ballot as a legally recognized candidate for the Labour Party, as a letter and judgement were properly served on INEC more than three weeks before the election.
“Sequel to the above reasons, we the campaign Organisation for Zaccheaus Jonathan in agreement with his teeming supporters in Kogi State, Kogi Kotonkarfe and Lokoja LGAs, 21 wards and 378 polling units reject the result and are praying INEC to consider options of announcing our candidate as the winner of the election of 25th February 2023, for Lokoja/ Kogi federal constituency or an outright cancellation of the results and to conduct a fresh election without delay for fairness and justice.”
While reminding INEC of its responsibility to conduct a free and fair election, he warned them not to be seen to be on the side of any contestant for any reason.
He, however, believed that INEC will do the needful by either declaring the candidate of LP winner or calling for a fresh election.