Presidential Polls: Labour Party, INEC Set For Showdown Over Access To Election Materials
The Labour Party (LP) is lurching towards an angry showdown with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) over the commission’s alleged refusal to grant it access to inspect certified true copies of materials used in the presidential election held on February 25, 2023.
The national leadership of the LP declared yesterday that the party would direct its supporters nationwide to embark on a protest to all INEC offices in the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) if the commission refuses to obey the ruling of the presidential election petition tribunal sitting in Abuja which ordered that it should be given access to the election materials.
INEC had declared Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), winner of the presidential election.
Chairman of the electoral body, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, had said Tinubu secured a total of 8,794,726 votes to defeat Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who came second with 6,984,520 votes, while Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP) came third with 6,101,533 votes.
Dissatisfied with the outcome of the poll, Atiku, Obi and their political parties had approached the presidential election tribunal sitting at the Court of Appeal in Abuja where they obtained the order of the court giving them access to the election materials.
The Labour Party, in a statement issued yesterday and signed by its general spokesperson, Yunusa Tanko, said the nationwide protest at INEC offices would curtail the commission’s flagrant disobedience of court orders.
It alleged that INEC failed to obey the ruling of the tribunal granted on March 3, 2023, directing its presidential candidate, Obi, leave to apply and receive from INEC certified true copies of materials used in the presidential election.
Tanko said, “The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) with greatest impunity have refused, neglected and failed to obey the Order of the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja made on the 03rd day of March 2023, directing it to grant the Labour Party and its presidential candidate.
“We, therefore, want to state that we will not fail to call our supporters to march to INEC offices nationwide in a non-violent protest which is allowed by law”.
According to the statement, the action of INEC under reference also constitutes, for all intent and purposes, an act of judicial insubordination and willful refusal to comply with the order of the court.
“As we speak INEC has chosen to obey the court order given to it to reconfigure the BIVAS machine, which they doing right now and ignoring the order granted to us to inspect electoral materials.
“We,, therefore call on the general public to note the level of lawlessness and brazen disobedience to a lawful order of a court by an important statutory agency such as INEC, which is a well-calculated attempt to undermine and frustrate the presentation of the Petition by the Labour Party and its Presidential candidate before the tribunal in good time,” Yunusa added.
Labour Party insisted that the order was duly served on INEC on the 3rd of March 2023 even though they were present and represented at the tribunal when the Order was made.
It also said a reminder letter was submitted to the commission, yet the ruling was not complied with.
Yunusa continued: “Not minding the service of the said Order on INEC, and a reminder letter dated the 6th day of March 2023 and delivered the same date at the INEC Headquarters Abuja, the electoral umpire has continued to ignore and or disobey the valid Order of such magnitude till NOW.
“It should be noted that in a democracy like ours, rule of law must triumph not only in our legal system but also in our body polity as a whole. Parties to a litigation like in the instant case must accept and obey every order of the court in good faith and no party should be seen to employ self-help to disparage or disrespect an order of the court which if not checked and curtailed could undermine our democracy, rule of law and constitutionalism”.
Join Us In Freeing Our Nation From Slavery, Atiku’s Adviser Tasks Nigerian Youths
Meanwhile, Ambassador Aliyu Bin Abbas, the special adviser on Youth, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) presidential, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has tasked Nigerian youths to brace up and join the bid to free Nigeria from slavery.
Ambassador Abbas who stated this in a statement he personally signed and made available to journalists in Kaduna yesterday also hinted about launching a movement termed, “National Youth Alliance”.
“I call on you all to join us in this crusade. It is centered on the freedom of our great nation Nigeria from the hands of those holding us in perpetual slavery over time. How long shall we stand beside and look at them mortgaging our collective Interests?
“The future of our democracy is sacred and sacrosanct. Let’s come together and secure our future and that of unborn children,” he said.
Abbas noted that he was making the clarion call, while reflecting on the need to ensure a better future for Nigeria, even as he said the time is now for all to support the redemption project.
He said, “I watched with heavy sense of consternation the complacency of our generation regarding practical involvement in our nation’s politics and governance.
“Much has been said about youth takeover, tomorrow belongs to the youth, youth are the leaders of tomorrow and so on.
“The salient question is this, how prepared and ready are the youths for this noble course and tasks? Many of us are too complacent, prefer to settle for stipends rather than take the bull by the horns.
“In countries like France, United Kingdom etc, youth are the arrow heads in politics and governance. In South Africa, the likes of Honourable Julius Malema is making a serious case for the nation’s younger generation.
“Unfortunately, Nigeria’s Younger Generation appears caged, impoverished and brainwashed with lies and ridiculous baiting, imprisoned mentally and psychologically. Reason for the prevalence of those who enslaved our fathers in the system.
“Myself with other patriots cut across ethno religious and political divides have been working assiduously to ensure both mental and psychological redemption of our generation”.
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