Kaduna PDP urges SIECOM to ensure strict adherence to elections laws

The People’s Democratic Party, PDP, Zangon Kataf local government area, has urged the Kaduna State Independent Elections Commission to ensure strict adherence to the relevant laws of the state and country in all processes and conduct of elections in the state.

The party also assured of its participation in the forthcoming local government elections if its demands are met.

A communique issued at the end of the stakeholders meeting of the party by Dr John M. Ayuba and Yusuf Kantiok, Chairman and Secretary of the Stakeholders said after observing many violations of the law by the “Overseer” of the State Independent Elections Commission ( SIECOM ) it will offer total support for the decision of the party leadership at the state to go to court.

It said the notice of the Year 2021 Local Government Council General Elections in Kaduna State was announced by the “Overseer” of the Kaduna State Independent Electoral Commission (KAD-SIECOM), in consonance with section 25(1) of Kaduna State Independent Electoral Commission Law No. 2, 2018, which is still the subsisting law.

The stakeholders observed that according to Section 25 (1), “the Commission shall not later than ninety days (90) days before the day appointed for holding an election under the Law publish a notice in each Local Government Area.

The meeting noted that a careful examination of the notice of election issued on 15th February 2021 and the day appointed for holding the election that is 15th May 2021 is eighty-nine (89) days and not ninety (90) days.

It said the overseer was trying to hoodwink the people of Kaduna state into believing its antics but that the notice contravenes the provisions of the law, and is, therefore, null and void.

It added that the title Overseer is also unknown to the KAD-SIECOM Law 2018, saying that the law recognizes only a Chairman while provisions of section 4 of the Kaduna State Independent Electoral Commission Law No. 2, 2018 states in subsection (2), that the Commission shall comprise of the Chairman; and not less than five but not more than seven other persons as members.

It said presently, the KAD-SIECOM comprises of only two members, and will be safe to say that the Kaduna State Independent Electoral Commission is non-existent and for that reason, the “Overseer” who is not the Chairman lacks the authority and powers to issue a notice of election.

The meeting resolved that the notice issued by the “Overseer” is unconstitutional, against the law and illegal.

The Stakeholders urged the party at the state level to challenge the sections of the bill allegedly passed recently by the House of Assembly giving the Governor of the state the powers to put in place a caretaker committee in any Local Government Area, where there is a crisis.

It explained that the amendment of section 19 (d) of the KAD-SIECOM Law, 2018 which deals with the qualifications of a person contesting for election, by raising it above School Certificate level or it’s equivalent, is against the letter and spirit of the 1999 Nigerian Constitution, adding that it is unconstitutional and illegal.

“Assuming without conceding that the said amendments to the law were passed, public hearing which is one of the fundamental processes of law-making that not only enriches the quality of a law but also confer legitimacy on a legislation was never conducted before the passage of the new bill,” the party observed.

The stakeholders advised all PVC holders to guard them jealously and not sell their future to a party that is well known for lies and not keeping to its promises.

The meeting opined that no genuine party with good intentions would ask for a PVC before registering any person as a member.