PDP opposes INEC, AGF on replacement for Audu in Kogi election.


The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Tuesday opposed the request by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) that the All Progressives Congress APC to replace its candidate in the inconclusive Kogi gubernatorial poll.

Audu Abubakar, APC candidate in the election died before the conclusion of the poll and the electoral body asked the party that it be replaced ahead of the December 5 date for supplementary election.

PDP argued such request from the commission is unconstitutional and hence demanded immediate resignation of the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami and the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mahmood Yakubu.

PDP National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh said the AGF should vacate his office for “hurrying and misleading’’ INEC into arriving at an “unconstitutional decision’’ to allow the APC substitute its candidate in the inconclusive Kogi election.

He said it was shocking said that that the commission could “succumb to the antics of unlawful directive” of the AGF to substitute a candidate in the middle of the ballot process.

“We are all aware of the two legal documents guiding INEC in the conduct of elections; the Constitution and the Electoral Act have provisions for electoral exigencies.

“The legal documents also empower the electoral body to fully take responsibility for any of its actions or inaction without undue interference from any quarters whatsoever.

“We are therefore at a loss as to which sections of these two relevant laws that INEC and the AGF relied on in arriving at their bizarre decision.

“Bizarre decision to substitute a dead candidate in an on-going election even after the timelines for such has lapsed under all the rules.’’

Metuh said that the PDP was taken aback why INEC, a statutory body with full complements of technical hands in its legal department would wait for directives of external party on the matter.

“Consequently, the PDP rejected in its entirety, the move to circumvent the laws and ambush the yet-to-be concluded election by introducing a practice that is completely alien to the constitution and the electoral act.

“The clear implication of this action of the AGF and INEC is that the APC would be fielding two different governorship candidates in the on-going Kogi election.

“This means that INEC would be transferring votes cast for late Prince Abubakar Audu to another candidate, scenarios that have no place in the constitution of the land,’’ he said.

Metuh said that since the PDP in respect for the dead, had since Sunday refrained from making comments on the Kogi election, the party could no longer maintain such in the face of the `barefaced attack’ on Nigeria’s democracy.

He said that INEC under the leadership of Yakubu had shown itself as `partisan, morally bankrupt and obviously incapable’ of conducting a credible election.

“In view of the foregoing therefore, the PDP demands the immediate resignation of the INEC chairman.

“The call is important as the nation’s democracy cannot afford to be left in the hands of an electoral umpire that cannot exert its independence and the sanctity of the electoral process.’’

He said that the PDP National Working Committee had summoned an emergency National Caucus meeting on Wednesday, November  25 to take decision on the “obvious threat to Nigeria’s democracy.’’

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