A Labour Party (LP) chieftain, Kenneth Okonkwo, has challenged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to grant his party, access to all election materials or confess in court that the 2023 election was rigged to favour their preferred candidate.
Okonkwo made this known while giving reasons the Presidential Election Tribunal on Tuesday, gave the LP presidential candidate, Peter Obi, three weeks to present its petition.
According to him, the LP Lead Counsel, Livy Uzoukwu, during an interview in court lamented how INEC has refused and neglected to provide the party with all the evidence needed to prosecute their court petition, despite the court order.
Kenneth said LP would not fold its hands and allow the impunity to continue, hence, INEC must follow the court orders on the provision of electoral materials or confess the election was rigged.
He added that the party had earlier requested seven weeks to give INEC enough time to produce all the evidence.
He wrote: “His Excellency @peterobigregory was in court. Our lead Counsel, Dr Livy Uzoukwu SAN, screamed, during the press interview, that “INEC is frustrating us.” Till date, INEC has failed, refused and neglected to provide us with all the evidence we need to prosecute our petition, despite the order of court, in that regard. Livy threatened legal showdown with INEC if this continues.
“It’s disturbing that INEC should come to court to tell us to go and start searching for our evidence in the states. Does it mean that INEC does not know the law that guides the presidential election or just sheer dishonesty and incompetence?
“In the issue of the presidential election, the entire country is one constituency and the law is very clear in Section 62 of the Electoral Act that INEC should assemble all the polling units and collation centres evidence, in one National Electronic Register of Election Results and give the CTC to any person or party on request. This, INEC has shamelessly not done, despite our agreeing to pay every legitimate fee for them.
“Nigerians should warn INEC to do the needful and follow the law or simply come to court and confess that they rigged the election in favour of their preferred candidate. We can’t fold our hands and allow this impunity to continue.
“The only reason we asked for 7 weeks was to give INEC enough time to produce all the evidence. Now that we have 3 weeks, which ordinarily should be good for us, they must produce them now. Add your voice to this. Eternal vigilance is the price to pay for the survival of democracy.”