The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Saturday said the leadership of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, led by Mahmood Yakubu, has refused its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar access to inspect the documents and materials used in the just concluded February 23, presidential election.
PDP also reaffirmed that the alleged refusal by the electoral umpire was a direct disobedience to the ruling of the court of Appeal on March 6.
This development was sequel to Atiku’s legal challenge of President Muhammadu Buhari’s declaration by INEC as winner of the February 23 presidential election.
PDP spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan said this in a statement made available to newsmen in Abuja.
Ologbondiyan added, “This 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.
“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”.
The opposition party, therefore, alleged that 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.
It also accused INEC of frustrating the quest by Nigerians to reclaim the mandate from President Muhammadu Buhari and save the nation from the crisis of an illegitimate government.
In his words, “The leadership of INEC and the APC are seeking to frustrate our court
option, seeing that the documents and materials will expressly show that.
Atiku Abubakar 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 Buhari Presidency manipulated the results for President Buhari.
“The PDP cautions the 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.
“INEC should, therefore, end its unpatriotic partisan shenanigans with the APC and immediately obey the Court of Appeal and grant the PDP and Atiku Abubakar access to the documents and materials and free itself from unholy entanglement with the APC against Nigerians.”