In response to what it claims is the Independent National Electoral Commission’s refusal to consider their appeal challenging the results of the 2023 presidential election, the Labour Party has vowed to call on its members to occupy INEC offices nationwide.
In a statement released on Saturday, Dr. Yunusa Tanko, the party’s presidential candidate’s spokesman, accused INEC of disobeying a court order directing the electoral umpire to give the party and its presidential candidate, Peter Obi, access to the certified true copies of materials used in the election.
It will be remembered that, despite INEC’s presence and representation at the tribunal when the Order was made, the aforementioned order of the presidential election petition tribunal was duly served on INEC on March 3, 2023.
The election umpire has continued to ignore and/or defy the lawful Order of such magnitude up until this point, according to Tanko. “Not minding the service of the said order on INEC, and a reminder letter dated March 6, 2023, and delivered same date at the INEC Headquarters Abuja,” Tanko added.
According to The PUNCH, the Court of Appeal in Abuja on March 3 approved Atiku Abubakar’s and his rival from the Liberation Party, Obi, requests to examine the election materials used during the presidential election on February 25.
In order to obtain authorization for the scrutiny of election materials used during the vote, Atiku and Obi went to the Presidential Election Court.
The PUNCH further notes that Atiku and Obi vowed to fight for their mandate in court and refused to accept loss in the presidential election on February 25.
Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress, who was proclaimed the winner of the election, requested the two candidates to support him in the mission of constructing the country in his acceptance speech. The two candidates rejected this offer of reconciliation.
Both the PDP and the LP challenged the election results due to, among other things, allegations of rigging and voter intimidation.
Following up, Tanko reacted, saying, “The behavior of INEC under reference also constitutes for all intents and purposes, an act of judicial insubordination and wilful failure to comply with the order of court.
“As of this moment, INEC has decided to abide by the court’s directive to reconfigure the BIVAS machine, which they are currently doing, and to disregard the directive given to us to examine the election materials.
In order to prevent the Labour Party and its presidential candidate from presenting their petition to the tribunal in a timely manner, we urge the general public to take note of the level of lawlessness and blatant disregard for a court’s legitimate orders displayed by an important statutory agency like INEC.
“We thus want to emphasize that we will not fail to call our followers to march to INEC offices around the country in a nonviolent protest that is allowed by law,” they continued.
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