The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has accused the leadership of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of disobeying the March 6, 2019 ruling of the Appeal Court, which directed it to allow the party and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, to inspect the documents and materials used in the February 23, 2019 presidential election.
In a statement by its national publicity secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan on Saturday, the party said: “It is a deliberate and wicked ploy by INEC, acting in cahoots with the All Progressives Congress (APC), to frustrate the people-backed resolve by Atiku Abubakar and the PDP to timeously file and mention our petition at the Presidential election Tribunal, and by so doing, ambush the case.
“Upon obtaining the lawful order of the Court directing INEC to forthwith avail Atiku Abubakar and the PDP copies of all the documents and other materials used for the Presidential election, our legal team wrote to INEC Chairman on March 11 and 12, 2019 respectively, causing the Order to be served on INEC and requesting access to the said documents and materials.
“Despite being served with the order and several follow-ups, the leadership of INEC has refused to grant the PDP and Atiku Abubakar access to the materials and documents, notwithstanding the urgency of the matter.”
“This action has further shown that INEC has been heavily compromised by the Buhari Presidency to rig the February 23, 2019 Presidential election and frustrate the quest by Nigerians to reclaim the mandate from President Muhammadu Buhari and save the nation from the crisis of an illegitimate government…”
Advising INEC to note that Nigerians are now aware of its manipulative tendencies and that any further delay in granting access to the materials might attract public odium, the party urged INEC “to end its unpatriotic partisan shenanigans with APC and immediately obey the Court of Appeal and grant PDP and Atiku access to the documents and materials and free itself from unholy entanglement with APC against Nigerians.”
Reacting to the allegations by PDP, the Chief Press Secretary to INEC Chairman, Rotimi Oyekanmi, “The Independent National Electoral Commission has a good record of obeying court orders. If and when the commission receives the orders of the court, it will comply.
“However, it is common knowledge that since the declaration the results of the presidential election, the commission has been very busy with the multiple activities regarding the National Assembly, governorship, state Houses of Assembly and Federal Capital Territory elections.
“Only last Thursday, the commission presented Certificates of Return to senators-elect and House of Representatives members-electors including PDP members,” he said.