61 po­lit­i­cal par­ties move to sue INEC over draft elec­tion guide­lines

Daily Trust - - POLITICS - By Saawua Terzungwe

Po­lit­i­cal par­ties num­ber­ing 61, are to file a suite to­day, at a Fed­eral High Court in Abuja, against the In­de­pen­dent Na­tional Elec­toral Com­mis­sion (INEC) to chal­lenge what they term “ma­nip­u­lated” 2019 elec­tion guide­lines.

The par­ties al­leged that INEC had in­serted new clauses in the guide­lines which they ar­gued would lead to “mas­sive rig­ging” of the elec­tions in favour of the gov­ern­ment in power, if al­lowed to scale through.

The Na­tional Chair­man of Ac­tion Peo­ples Party (APP), who is also the Na­tional Sec­re­tary of In­terParty Ad­vi­sory Coun­cil (IPAC) and spokesman for the 61 par­ties, Chief Ikenga Ugochinyere, said in a state­ment, yes­ter­day, that Sec­tion 155 of the Elec­toral Act gives po­lit­i­cal par­ties the power to chal­lenge INEC’s elec­tion guide­lines in court.

Ac­cord­ing to the state­ment, lead­ers of the po­lit­i­cal par­ties were set to pass a vote of no con­fi­dence on INEC chair­man, Prof. Mah­mood Yakubu, if he de­cided to re­lease the “con­tro­ver­sial guide­lines” to­day, with­out meet­ing with po­lit­i­cal par­ties for their in­put.

“Po­lit­i­cal par­ties pre­dict 2019 pre­elec­tion cri­sis over INEC uni­lat­eral de­ci­sion to is­sue guide­lines which do not pro­mote elec­tion cred­i­bil­ity. Po­lit­i­cal par­ties de­mand INEC re­ten­tion of the 2015 sep­a­rate ac­cred­i­ta­tion and sep­a­rate vot­ing sys­tem to avoid con­fus­ing vot­ers due to close­ness of polls.

“This move is to stop INEC from re­leas­ing the guide­line and also quash some sec­tions of the draft guide­line which are in con­flict with the pro­vi­sions of the 1999 Con­sti­tu­tion in­clud­ing the ob­nox­ious pro­vi­sions in­serted into the guide­line which will lead to mas­sive rig­ging of the 2019 elec­tions,” he said.

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