We Don’t Have Powers To Disqualify Aspirants With Court Cases – INEC

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has denied speculations that it would disqualify politicians with court cases from contesting future elections in Nigeria.

Speaking to PRNigeria, the National Commissioner in charge of Publicity of INEC, Prince Adedeji Solomon Soyemi said that those peddling such rumours were mere busy-bodies aimed at scaring their likely opponents from contesting.

The speculations recently gained ground when anti-corruption agencies, especially the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) arraigned some major political aspirants in court over alleged money-laundering with regards to 2015 campaign funding.

But Prince Soyebi insisted INEC has no powers to disqualify any candidate submitted by the political parties.

He said: “We have been inundated with this baseless insinuation, which we have denounced because INEC has no power whatsoever to disqualify any political aspirant or candidate as the case may be.

“The rumours have been trending on social media alleging that INEC will not issue forms to anyone with a pending case of embezzlement before the security agencies or any court. The story is completely false and baseless and could not have emanated from the Commission.

“As we have stated repeatedly, grounds for disqualification are clearly spelt out in the 1999 Constitution as amended. There is no way whatsoever to act outside the Constitutional provisions to disqualify anyone.”

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