Court only disqualified party’s candidates, APC will feature in Bayelsa election – INEC

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says the All Progressives Congress (APC) will participate in the Bayelsa governorship election.

Festus Okoye, commissioner of INEC voter education and publicity said the party’s name is among those to be featured on the ballot papers on Saturday.

He said the court disqualified the party’s candidates from the election but that it did not rule that the party will not be featured in the ballot papers already printed.

“We do not have any court judgment that said the APC should not be on the ballot paper, what the court said is that the party does not have a candidate.

“Where we are currently is that we have 45 political parties on the ballot papers and the APC is also on the ballot. Their votes will be counted as well.

“It is only after we collate the votes from the various registration areas up to the state level that the declaration will be made and that is when candidates will be revealed.”

Asked if votes cast for the APC in the election will be invalidated since the court sacked its recognised candidate, Okoye said INEC “has not gotten to that stage yet”, adding that ”this will be decided after the voting process”.

The commission earlier recognised David Lyon as the APC governorship candidate in the election after he was declared winner in the party’s primary poll.

But a federal high court sitting in Abuja disqualified Lyon and ruled that the APC does not have a candidate in the election after its deputy governorship candidate was discovered to have submitted false academic information.

Another court in Bayelsa also sacked him while ruling on a separate suit filed by Heineken Lokpobiri. It held that the party did not conduct a credible primary election.

The ruling, however, came about 48 hours to the poll, long after INEC had printed ballot papers for the exercise taking place on Saturday.

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