The Labour Party has threatened to mobilise its members and supporters, otherwise known as Obidients, to occupy offices of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) across the country for allegedly frustrating its petition against the outcome of the just concluded presidential election.
This was disclosed by the spokesman of the Obi/Datti Presidential Campaign Council, Yunusa Tanko, in a statement on Saturday, March 11, 2023.
Tanko accused the commission of disobeying the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal (PEPT) which mandated INEC to grant Labour Party and its presidential candidate, Peter Obi, access to inspect the certified true copies of materials used in the conduct of the controversial election.
He said: “It will be recalled that the aforesaid order of the presidential election petition tribunal was duly served on INEC on March 3, 2023, despite the fact that 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 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.”
This comes after the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, and his Labour Party counterpart approached the PEPT to seek permission for the inspection of sensitive materials used during the poll.
On Friday, March 3, 2023, an Appeal Court sitting in Abuja granted the request of the plaintiffs to inspect the materials used for the February 25, 2023 exercise.
Pulse reports that Atiku and Obi have refused to accept the outcome of the election and vowed to reclaim their mandate in court, turning down the olive branch made by the president-elect, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, during his acceptance speech where he called on his opponents and their supporters to join him in the task of building the nation.
But, the Labour and the PDP candidates have maintained that the outcome of the election is unacceptable as the process that produced it had been marred by alleged rigging, and voter intimidation among other infractions.
Speaking further, Tanko said: “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 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, and 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.“
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