Former presidential aide, Okoi Obono-Obla has attacked the Resident Electoral Commissioner of INEC in Akwa Ibom State, calling him a busy body and a meddlesome interloper.
On Tuesday 18 July 2022, Mike Igini was on Channel Television (Sunrise Daily) where he faulted the recent election of Gov Ben Ayade as Cross River north APC Senatorial candidate for next year’s election.
Igini said Ayade who vied for APC presidential ticket and failed ought not to have run back home to participate in a byelection, stressing that it was against the electoral rule.
In an interview with ecocitytv in Calabar, Obono-Obla said he cannot understand, why Igini would leave Akwa Ibom State, and begin to meddle in the electoral matter(s) connecting Cross River State.
“Which kind of meddlesomeness is that? It beats me hollow that Igini would be meddling or poking his nose in the electoral matters in Cross River State.
“The fact that Hon Igini is Resident Electoral Commissioner of Akwa Ibom State, does not confer him the power to traverse the length and breadth of Nigeria, looking for violators of the Electoral Act?
“It also doesn’t confer on him the power of an adjudicator on all electoral matters concerning purported breach of the Electoral Act. ”
He declared that Igini cannot make authoritative pronouncements concerning who is not eligible or not ineligible to contest an election.
He maintained that “If there is a breach of the Electoral Act, it is a Court of competent Jurisdiction conferred with appropriate power(s) that can declare any act done or otherwise by anybody as invalid (not Igini).
“Under our constitutional jurisprudence, nobody can arrogate to himself the power of an accuser, investigator, prosecutor and judge at the same time.
“Conversely, no one can be a judge in his cause. If any provision of the Electoral Act is alleged to have been breached, it is an interested person that can complain to INEC. ”
According to him, INEC is not an investigator and it does not lie within the executive or administrative competence of Igini to arrogate to himself the power to accuse, investigate, prosecute and judge.
The lawyer and social activist declared that it is beyond argument that everything Igini said on Channel Television concerning actions undertaken by APC in the State “is a mere farrago of words. It is otiose and unconstitutional.”