LP Threatens Nationwide Protest At INEC Offices Over BVAS
It should be noted that in a democracy like ours, rule of law must triumph not only in our legal system
Labour Party (LP) has threatened to protest at the offices of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) nationwide over the Commission’s failure to allow it to inspect materials used for the presidential election of February 25th, 2023.
The party’s presidential candidate Peter Obi had sought an order from the Court of Appeal to prevent INEC from reconfiguring the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS). But the court gave the Commission permission to reconfigure it and asked that Obi be given access to inspect the materials.
The LP Presidential Campaign Council (LP-PCC) spokesman Dr Yunusa Tanko accused the electoral umpire of not following the court order.
“As we speak INEC has chosen to obey the court order given to it to reconfigure the BVAS machine, which they doing right now and ignoring the order granted to us to inspect electoral materials,” he said in the statement dated March 10, 2023.
It will be recalled that the aforesaid Order of the presidential election petition tribunal was duly served on INEC on the 3rd of March 2023 despite the fact that they were present and represented at the tribunal when the Order was made.
Not minding the service of the said Order on INEC, and a reminder letter dated the 6th day of March 2023 and delivered the same date at the INEC Headquarters Abuja, the electoral umpire has continued to ignore and or disobey the valid Order of such magnitude till NOW.
It should be noted that in a democracy like ours, rule of law must triumph not only in our legal system but also in our body polity as a whole. Parties to litigation like in the instant case must accept and obey every order of a court in good faith and no party should be seen to employ self-help to disparage or disrespect an order of a court which if not checked and curtailed could possibly undermine our democracy, rule of law and constitutionalism.
The action of INEC under reference also constitutes for all intent and purposes, an act of judicial insubordination and willful refusal to comply with the order of the court.
As we speak INEC has chosen to obey the court order given to it to reconfigure the BIVAS machine, which they doing right now and ignoring the order granted to us to inspect electoral materials.
We, therefore, call on the general public to note the level of lawlessness and brazen disobedience to a lawful order of a court by an important statutory agency such as INEC, which is a well-calculated attempt to undermine and frustrate the presentation of the Petition by the Labour Party and its Presidential candidate before the tribunal in good time.
We, therefore, want to state that we will not fail to call our supporters to march to INEC offices nationwide in a non-violent protest which is allowed by law. This is to curtail the flagrant disobedience to court orders by INEC