APC frowns at imposition of levies on council polls candidates in Enugu, Ebonyi

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Party says it’s a rehearsal for the manipulation of the 2015 polls

The South East Zonal Chapter of the All Progressives Congress, APC, has criticised the levy imposed by the Enugu and Ebonyi State governments on candidates in the coming council polls in the states.

The party said the levy was a dress rehearsal for the rigging of the 2015 general elections.

According to the party, the Ebonyi State Independent Electoral Commission, EBSIEC, had asked the councillorship and Chairmanship candidates to pay N100,000 and N400,000 respectively, while the Enugu State Independent Electoral Commission, ENSIEC, imposed N50,000 and N250,000 respectively, on candidates vying for the two positions.

In a statement on Friday by its spokesperson, Osita Okechukwu, APC likened the levy to double taxation since the two state governments had already appropriated funds for the elections.

“To add salt to injury, the APC candidates who managed to cough out the double taxation, were on the 11 October duly cleared to participate in the elections and suddenly on the 14 October, following order from the above, were disqualified,” the party alleged.

The party contended that laws enacted by state legislatures but which were inconsistent with the constitution were null and void.

“We are yet to locate where Mr. President, Governors or any legislator paid official levy before contesting the 2011 general elections and what is good for the goose is good for the gander,” he said.

It added that the levy contradicted Section 7 (4) of the 1999 Constitution.

The section says in part, “The government of the State shall ensure that every person who is entitled to vote or to be voted for at an election to House of Assembly shall have the right to vote or be voted for at an election to the Local Government Council.”

“In sum, any law outside the granite provision of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is rigging ahead of 2015 general election,” the party said.

“The Constitution clearly states under Section 65 (1) the qualifications for elections as follows – citizen of Nigeria; educated up to School Certificate level or its equivalent, member of a political party and sponsored by the party; must not be a lunatic, an ex-convict, bankrupt, employee of civil or public service etc.”

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