By Maxwell Adeyemi Adeleye
The Young Democratic Party (YDP) has dragged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to court for allegedly being responsible for its abysmal performance in the Sept. 28 gubernatorial election in Edo.
The Acting National Publicity Secretary of the party, Mrs Evelyn Okere, made this known at a press conference in Abuja on Thursday. Okere attributed the poor number of votes scored by party to the failure of INEC to display the correct logo of the party on the ballot paper.
“We lost a lot of votes because our voters did not know where to vote and this has caused us a lot; we prepared very well for this election.
“We did our campaign; we went from house to house campaigning in Edo for our candidate and for us to be treated in this manner is unacceptable and we will take it up,’’
Okere said. She noted that the reason given by INEC as to why it did not use the party’s preferred logo was not in conformity with the Electoral Act.
The party spokesperson said that INEC had written a letter to YDP informing the party that it could not use light bulb as its logo. INEC, she said, was processing the logo for the registration of Socialist Party of Nigeria as a political party. Mr Raphael Sebibo-Horsfall, a Board of Trustees member of the Party, however, said that the provision of Section 82 was that no political party should use the logo of another political party. Sebibo-Horsfall noted that the said political party was still undergoing registration, and not a fully registered party.
He said that the YDP would want the court to determine whether by provisions of Section 82 subsection 2(a) INEC could deny it continued use of its adopted logo on the grounds that the said logo was under processing for registration by an association as political party.’’
He added that the party went to court with the hope of getting a judgment that would invalidate the entire election because its teeming supporters were disenfranchised.
“You will agree with me that the logo of a party is the symbol of the party. “So when our members went out to vote and did not see our logo on the ballot paper, they were greatly disappointed and cried out.”
He added that INEC had denied the youths in Edo an opportunity to elect their leader and it would be unfair for the commission to go ahead to announce a winner in the election. He said the party would follow all the necessary legal processes to get justice for its members.