The Labour Party (LP) has accused the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of frustrating its efforts in filing a petition at the tribunal over the outcome of the 2023 presidential election.
The spokesman of the LP Presidential Campaign Council, Dr Yunusa Tanko, made this known in a statement on Saturday.
Dr Tanko accused INEC of disobeying the order of the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal directing the electoral umpire to grant LP and its presidential candidate, Peter Obi, access to the certified true copies of materials used in the conduct of the poll.
“It will be recalled that the aforesaid order of the presidential election petition tribunal was duly served on INEC on March 3, 2023, even though they were present and represented at the tribunal when the Order was made.
“Not minding the service of the said order on INEC, and a reminder letter dated March 6, 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,” Tanko said.
Prime Business Africa reports that the Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja on 3rd March 2023, granted the request of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, and his Labour Party (LP) counterpart, Peter Obi, to inspect the election materials used during the 25th February presidential poll.
Recall that Atiku and Obi had approached the Court to seek permission for the inspection of election materials used during the poll after rejecting the results which led to the declaration of Bola Ahmed Tinubu of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) as the winner of the 25th February. presidential election. The duo rather vowed to recover their mandate in court.
Both the PDP and the LP rejected the election results over alleged rigging, and voter intimidation, among other reasons.
Tanko Wondered why INEC would refuse to obey the court order to allow LP and its Presidential candidate to have access to the electoral materials used in the Presidential election and then obeyed the same court to start reconfiguration of the BIVAS.
“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 are 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.
“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. This is to curtail the flagrant disobedience to court orders by INEC,” he said.
He, however, urged all their supporters to vote for candidates of the party in the rescheduled March 18 governorship and State Assembly elections.