Owing to the on-going Nation-wide strike embarked upon by the Judicial Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN), the Ogun State Independent Electoral Commission (OGSIEC) has again called on various Political Parties participating in the forthcoming Local Government election to make use of Notary Public or the Ministry of Justice in order to get the Personal Data Forms of their candidates signed.
Speaking with News men in his office at Oke-Ilewo, Abeokuta, OGSIEC Chairman, Mr. Babatunde Osibodu said the move became imperative due to the on-going nationwide strike by the Courts, revealing that this arrangement would afford political parties the opportunity of perfecting preparations ahead of the Tuesday, June 8 deadline submission of the Forms.
“We concluded party primaries last Thursday and it was very successful, we still await the list of their candidates and we know that each candidate will take their forms to the Court to affirm the information there in but the Court is on strike, we have made arrangements with the Ministry of Justice at Oke-Mosan, for them to have it done or in the alternative, any Notary Public across the state, for those who cannot come to Abeokuta to have their forms sworn to, so as to meet the deadline.
“As electoral umpires, we have continued to provide level playing field for all the political parties and we will not renege in our quest to organize free, fair and credible Local Government elections,” Osibodu said.
Reacting to the allegation by 22 political parties that the Commission did not capture them in the forthcoming elections, the OGSIEC boss submitted that the list the Commission is working with was gotten from the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC), advising that INEC should be challenged and not OGSIEC.
According to Osibodu, “From the records we received from INEC, 17 Political Party are duly registered in the State, we cannot do otherwise and do not have power to deregister political parties. We got our record from INEC and that is what we stick to”.
On the allegation of granting audience to a faction of a political party at the expense of the other, he disclosed that the “Commission granted audience to all the factions but will however follow the counsel of legal experts before taking final decisions. OGSIEC has received a document from the aggrieved faction’s Lawyer and it will be dealing with that lawyer”, assuring that it will continue to collaborate with security agencies in order to ensure security of lives and property before, during and after the election.