No fewer than 200 people stormed the headquarters of the Independent National Electoral Commission in Abuja, protesting non-compliance with the Supreme Court judgment of January 27, 2012.
They demanded that INEC should conduct fresh governorship election in Kogi State since the Supreme Court had earlier declared the elections in Kogi, Sokoto, Adamawa,Cross Rivers and Bayelsa States null and void.
Protesting under the umbrella of Association for Justice and Good Governance of Kogi State, they displayed placards with various inscriptions such as “INEC must conduct fresh election as ordered by Supreme Court”, “We demand justice and good governance in Kogi”, “Kogi must be free from illegal hands”, “On Supreme Court judgment of 27/01/12 we stand”, and “Wada must go”.
The group’s leader, Umar Goodman Akwu, was allowed to formally submit a letter to the INEC Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega, detailing their demands.
Addressing journalists, Akwu noted that the Supreme Court judgment took cognisance of the need to guide against vacuum in the affected states, hence the directives that the Speakers of the Houses of Assembly should take charge pending the conduct of fresh elections.
He also recalled that the Kogi State Speaker was indeed inaugurated on the day of the judgment by the Chief Judge, Justice Nasir Ajanah, just as it was done in other four states.
According to him: “The 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended, provides that the swearing-in of state governors be performed by the State Chief Judge or in his absence by the Grand Khadi.
“The President of the Customary Court of Appeal is not vested with such power.
“No state governor has ever be sworn into office by the President of the Customary Court of Appeal.
“In compliance with the January 27, 2012 Supreme Court decision, INEC held governorship elections in Adamawa State on February 4, 2012, in Bayelsa State on February 11, 2012, in Sokoto State on February 18, 2012 and in Cross River on February 25, 2012.
“Surprisingly, INEC did not hold fresh governorship election in Kogi State despite the subsisting Supreme Court judgement ordering it to do so.
“The Supreme Court had held that the tenure of office of the last holder of the office of governor of Kogi State terminated on the 28th May, 2011.
“The state by application dated February 1, 2012, prayed the court to exempt Kogi State from the effect of the January 27, 2012 judgment, arguing that the commission had already conducted governorship election in Kogi State on December 3, 2011.”
Akwu stated further that the Supreme Court, in a ruling dated February 16, 2012, dismissed INEC’s application for the validation of its December 3, 2011 governorship election in Kogi State adding: “In other words, the Supreme Court ordered INEC to comply with the January 27, 2012 judgement by conducting fresh governorship election in Kogi State.
“INEC has been served with a copy of the January 27, 2012 Supreme Court order.
“The people of Kogi State hereby call on the Chairman of INEC, Prof. Attahiru Jega, and the entire leadership of the Commission to immediately implement the Supreme Court order by conducting fresh governorship election in Kogi State.
“All lovers of democracy and the rule of law should strongly condemn the illegality in Kogi State and appeal to INEC to comply with the Supreme Court order by holding fresh governorship election in the state immediately.”