INEC didn’t allow us access electoral materials despite court order— PDP, LP raise alarm

March 11, 2023

3.6 min readCategories: News
  •  Fresh Crisis Looms In APC As Adamu’s Deputy Asks Him To Resign

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Labour Party (LP) have demanded compliance with the orders granting them access to inspect materials used for the February 25 presidential elections.

A letter to the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof Mahmood Yakubu, by the PDP Legal Team signed by Joe-Kyari Gadzama (SAN) on Friday, said since the Court of Appeal on March 3 and 8 granted access to materials used for the election, but the commission has refused to comply.

The appellate court panel led by Justice Joseph Ikyegh had issued “an order allowing the PDP to carry out a forensic examination/analysis of the ballot papers, data form, BVAS/and or card readers, including copying and photocopying of the ballot papers, information stored in the computer server/IREV/backends/clouds and card readers and thumbprint analysis and to present and/or demonstrate by visual, electronic or documentary or any other means, the result of the forensic examination/analysis at the court as part of the proceedings.”

But Gadzama said the legal team led by Adedamola Fanokun Esq, has been visiting INEC since the first order was made, and on each occasion, they were turned back because “there was no instruction yet from the commission”.

Similarly, the national chairman of LP, Julius Abure, in a Twitter, post bemoaned the failure of INEC to grant the party’s experts and lawyers access to the election materials and to scan or make photocopies of voters registration, ballot papers used, including to conduct a digital forensic inspection of BVAS machines used for the February 25 election.

“I want to say that since that order was made that we should be given the opportunity to inspect election materials, INEC has not allowed us access,” he said.

“We have been going there; our lawyers and technical experts have been going there daily.”

Fresh Crisis Looms In APC As Adamu’s Deputy Asks Him To Resign

The National Vice Chairman (North-West) of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Salihu Mohammed Lukman, has asked the party’s national chairman, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, to resign to pave way for a Christian from the North-Central to take over.

In a statement on Friday in Abuja, Lukman argued that it is not proper for the President-elect, Bola Tinubu, and the Vice President-elect, Kashim Shettima, and Adamu to be Muslims while Christians have no stake.

He asked Adamu to resign in the interest of fairness, justice and equity.

The APC vice chairman said, “Now that the election is won by APC and Asiwaju, it is important to demonstrate that the Muslim-Muslim ticket of the president-elect and Shettima is simply an electoral strategy.

“With a National Chairman, Sen. Abdullahi Adamu, who is also a Muslim, it will be important that every necessary step is taken to inject a change of leadership for the party so that a new national chairman who is a Christian to take over.

“There should be no difficulty in convincing Sen. Adamu to resign as national chairman to create opportunity for a new national chairman of APC to emerge who is a Christian.

“For that to happen may require Emergency National Convention because if the hierarchy of the current leadership is to be followed, the successor to Sen. Adamu will be Sen. Abubakar Kyari who is a Muslim from North-East.”

Adamu had not responded to Salihu’s comment as of the time of filing this report.

Salihu is not new to controversies. He caught the headlines when as Director -General of Progressive Governors’ Forum, an umbrella body for APC Governors, he demanded the resignation of Gov Mai Mala Buni as chairman of APC Caretaker Committee

Salihu had resigned in the middle of the storm, but bounced back months after when he was elected APC vice Chairman (North West).

A similar demand in the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) led to factionalistion of the opposition party in the buildup to the 2023 elections.

Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers and some of his allies had demanded the resignation of Senator Iyioricha Ayu as PDP National Chairman to pave the way for a Southerner to lead the party.

They had said it was unfair for Atiku Abubakar, the party’s presidential candidates, and Ayu to be from the same region.

Credit: Daily Trust

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About the Author: Olumide Akinrinlola

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