Is INEC an independent body or owned by APC – Atiku lambasts INEC over comment on lawyer handling case against Buhari

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Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has taken a swipe at the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for exhibiting “crass ignorance and incomparable low level wretched illiteracy” in his choice of Dr Livy Uzoukwu in the petition challenging the declaration of President Muhammadu Buhari as winner of February 19, 2019 polls.

The INEC had in a counter affidavit challenged the choice of Dr Uzoukwu as counsel in the petition, claiming that the Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) was not on the roll call of lawyers called to the bar and therefore not eligible to practice in the country.

The counter affidavit specifically referred to documents signed by the learned, SAN as Dr Livy Uzoukwu as against one Dr. Livinus Uzoukwu which INEC acknowledged to be on the roll call, arguing that both names could not be referring to one and same person.

Atiku, in a reaction to the claim said INEC has exhibited what he termed as “crass ignorance” as the use of abbreviations by counsel has been settled by the Supreme Court.

In a statement on Tuesday signed by Phrank Shaibu, Special Assistant on Public Communications and Strategy, the PDP flagbearer said as in the case of the dubious WAEC certificate paraded by Buhari, the APC and INEC has assembled a team of lawyers intent on misleading the courts and Nigerians in general.

“It’s either INEC is not aware or chose to maintain a blind eye as far as this issue is concerned. How can you say a former Attorney General of Imo State and a SAN is not qualified to practice law in Nigeria? This is a clear case of crass ignorance and incomparable display of low level of illiteracy intended to mislead the court and Nigerians”.

The former Vice President further referred Nigerians to a judgment of the Supreme Court permitting counsels to use abbreviations as well as their full names, adding that the use of Livy as against Livinus in the roll call of lawyers called to the bar does not in anyway diminish from the qualification of his counsel.

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