Court Restrains EBSIEC From Conducting LG Election

By Esther Nworie

 

A State High court sitting in Abakaliki Ebonyi State capital, Tuesday has restrained the Ebonyi State Independent Electoral Commission, (EBSIEC) from conducting local government election which was earlier scheduled for August 15, 2020.

However, the new date for the election is now August 29, 2020. This is to give the parties extension of time to conduct fresh primaries.

EBSIEC Chairman, Barrister Jossy Eze made the announcement to party stakeholders on Wednesday during a meeting at EBSIEC office, Onwe Road, Abakaliki.

Report has it that the Commission was served with the court order on Tuesday though Barr. Eze didn’t disclose the appellant.

According to him, the court ordered the electoral umpire to issue a revised timetable that will give another opportunity to the claimant in that suit or the party to partake and the opportunity to have their party primaries conducted.

Eze announced that the local government election which was earlier scheduled to hold on 15th August has been shifted to 29th August, 2020.

“One of the parties had gone to court to ask for a window of opportunity to participate and conduct their own party primaries.”

“The commission was served a court order from the state high court restraining the commission in the interim from going on to conduct the local government election until the commission has issued a revised timetable that will give another opportunity to the claimant in that suit or the party to partake and the opportunity to have their party primaries conducted.”

“As a powerful commission, we took an oath to abide by the law of the land. We have to obey the court order from a competent court.”

“We are revising the timetable of the election to hold on a new date. Therefore, by the power conferred on the commission, I announce that the new date for the 2020 LG election, to hold on Saturday 29th August 2020.

“The claimant will on this new date be allowed to conduct their party primaries from today 22nd July to 6th August 2020”, he added.

The chairman also announced the lifting of ban on political campaign activities by the various participating political parties.

“We have fixed a new date for our local government election and other activities.

“It is the position of the commission to carry all political parties along. Today we have deemed it necessary to invite you once more and announce to you certain decisions that have to do with the 2020 local government election in Ebonyi state.”

Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP) in the state convened an emergency SEC meeting following the court order.

Series of arguments were made by members of PDP SEC but Governor David Umahi at the meeting pleaded with SEC to obey the court order, stating that they are known as law abiding people.

“We cannot disobey federal court not to talk of our own court. I believe strongly that everything works together for good for those that love Jesus, so every disappointment shall be our own stepping stone. I advise that we obey the rule of law and adjust our own timetable to be in conformity with the timetable of the EBSIEC.”

“I’m very sure that those that won the party ticket can still repeat the same feat, they should not be afraid.”

“I will suggest that the party chairman should give discounts to those who bought forms before, those that still want to participate and that there must be fresh three man delegates”, he stated.

Chairman of the party in the state, Barrister Onyekachi Nwebonyi expressed disappointment over the development, stating that some PDP members connived with other parties to fight the party.

“The party is not happy with what we are seeing, and we believe strongly that some of our party men and women are behind it.

“It is worrisome that after having primaries done, we are asked to redo it.

“How are we going to start after doing our primaries, do we go back to the drawing board?

“We are not happy with the development, but being a law abiding party we have no option than to abide by law”, he noted

Nwebonyi said the party will conduct fresh primaries as directed by the court.

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