Confusion envelops the leadership of the Independent National Electoral Commission on Tuesday on whether to monitor or stay away from Wednesday’s (today) national convention of the Peoples Democratic Party in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
A number of national commissioners at the headquarters of the commission in Abuja on Tuesday told the media that INEC was in a predicament over which order of the different courts it should obey concerning the convention.
It was learnt that the commission had sent a delegation to Port Harcourt, based on the Rivers State court ruling, mandating it to monitor the convention.
The ruling of Justice Okon Abang on Tuesday, insisting that INEC must stay away from the convention, was said to have put the commission in a dilemma over what to do.
One of the national commissioners, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said while the commission was willing to obey court orders, the two judgments had put it in a state of confusion.
He said, “ We have just been told that we should not be at the convention on the order of Justice Abang. Yet, another court in Port Harcourt said we must be there. These are same courts with same powers under the same President, because the Federal High Court in the country is headed by a President.
“Are these judges reading different laws or constitution? Can’t the President of the Federal High Court call his men to order?
“If we go to Port Harcourt for the convention, a judge will say we flouted his order and if we don’t go, another one will frown at our action.”
The Director, Publicity and Voters Education, INEC, Mr. Oluwole Osaze, told The Punch that the commission was waiting to be served with the order of Justice Abang before deciding on the next step to take.
He said, “We are in dilemma over which order to obey for now. One order asks us to go, another says we should not. We are waiting to be served with the order of Justice Abang before knowing what to do.”
A deputy director in the same department, Mr. Nick Danzang, said the officials of the commission were on standby in Port Harcourt.
He said, “Although the commission has been served the Port Harcourt court judgment, it has yet to be served the Abuja court judgment by Justice Abang.
“In the meantime, our monitoring workers are on standby.”