Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has accused the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of denying its candidate, Atiku Abubakar, access to inspect the documents and materials used in the February 23 Presidential election.
The main opposition party said that the leadership of the commission led by Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, had refused to obey the March 6 ruling of the Appeal Court, directing it to allow the party to inspect the electoral materials and document used for the presidential election.
The National Publicity Secretary of the party, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, in a statement Saturday in Abuja, said this was 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.
He said that the leadership of INEC and the APC were seeking to frustrate the party’s court option, seeing that the documents and materials would expressly show that Atiku clearly won the election by the votes directly delivered at the polling units across the country as well as expose how the commission and the Muhammadu Buhari Presidency manipulated the results.
Ologbondiyan noted, “It is imperative to inform Nigerians that 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 the INEC Chairman on the 11th and 12th of March 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 by the leadership of INEC has further exposed that it has been heavily compromised by the Buhari Presidency to rig the February 23, 2019 Presidential election and to frustrate the quest by Nigerians to reclaim the mandate from President Muhammadu Buhari and save the nation from the crisis of an illegitimate government.”
The party therefore cautioned INEC to note that Nigerians were now aware of its alleged manipulative tendencies and that any further delay in granting access to the materials might attract public odium.
It added that INEC should therefore end its unpatriotic partisan shenanigans with the APC and immediately obey the Court of Appeal and grant the PDP and Atiku access to the documents and materials.