The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has rejected an exparte order stopping the collation of results of the Bauchi state governorship election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
In a statement issued on Tuesday by the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, described the court order as an attempt to derail democratic process and urged INEC not to be misled by it.
See full statement;
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) vehemently rejects the arm-twisting of the judiciary and the court by the All Progressives Congress (APC) to unconstitutionally halt the conclusion of collation of already declared results in the Bauchi State Governorship election, which has been won by the PDP.
The party alerts that such development, which is akin to the infamous order that derailed the 1993 democratic process, is part of the plot by the APC and certain compromised elements in the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to escalate crisis and derail our electoral process.
The power to collate, suspend collation and or to reverse such decision based on obvious circumstances as the case in Bauchi is clearly within the domain of INEC. Until Collation is completed and results declared no one can question the constitutional powers of the electoral body: INEC, in that regard.
The PDP cautions that if this desperate underhand measure by the APC to halt electoral processes is not checked, our hard earned democracy will fail us and our nation thrown into anarchy.
Our party should not be constrained into a situation in which we will have no option than to allow our members to seek similar exparte orders to halt statutory processes including the swearing-in of APC candidates at various levels, particularly President Muhammadu Buhari.
It is clear that collation of result is part of the electoral process and that INEC cannot act on a purported exparte order to jettison its independence and halt the collation of results, which is a key component of its statutory electoral duty.
Section 87 (10) of the Electoral Act is unambiguous in its prescription that “nothing in this section shall empower the courts to stop the holding of primaries or general election or the processes thereof under this Act pending the determination of a suit”.
Our party therefore charges INEC to be properly guided by the law in this regard.
The PDP urges the institution of Judiciary not to allow the APC to entangle the court in its shenanigans to destroy our hard-earned democracy.
Nigerians in Bauchi state have elected the PDP and nothing can change this reality.
A Abuja Federal High Court presided over by Justice Inyang Ekwo on Tuesday ordered INEC to stop the resumption of collation of results on account of an ex parte application filed by the All Progressive Congress and the incumbent governor of Bauchi State, Mohammed Abubakar.
Justice Ekwo ordered the affected parties to appear before the court on Wednesday to make their submissions for accelerated hearing on the matter.
Governor Abubakar prayed the court to compel INEC to go ahead with March 23 rescheduled election rather than reverse itself.