The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has come put of its shelves to respond to its refusal of the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, to inspect election materials used for the 2019 polls.
Atiku rejected the results of the February 23 elections, which he lost to the incumbent president, Muhammadu Buhari. Atiku and his party had approached the court to challenge the outcome of the February 23 presidential election, alleging electoral malpractices.
He further filed at the court that INEC should be compelled to grant him access to materials used for the election and the court granted his prayer.He further filed at the court that INEC should be compelled to grant him access to materials used for the election and the court granted his prayer.
However, according to the PDP’s spokesperson, Kola Ologbodiyan, INEC denied Atiku access to the materials, despite notice and follow – ups.
A statement by the party noted that, “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 statement added.
But reacting to PDP’s claims, the spokesperson for INEC’s chairman, has explained that, the electoral body will comply with the court directive “if and when the commission receives the order”.
“It is common knowledge that since the declaration of the results of the presidential election, the commission has been busy with the multiple activities associated with the national assembly, governorship, state houses of assembly and federal capital territory elections,” he said.
“Only last Thursday, the commission presented certificates of return to senators-elect and house of representatives members-elect, including PDP members. “Nevertheless, the commission will comply when the due process is followed,” he added.