The campaign for the Labour Party (LP) has accused the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of denying Peter Obi, the party’s standard bearer, access to election materials.
TheCable said that the court of appeal granted Obi permission to access all confidential INEC materials.
INEC, though, petitioned the court to modify the ruling, arguing that the bimodal voter accreditation system (BVAS) must be reprogrammed before to the gubernatorial and state assembly elections.
In a statement released on Friday, Yunusa Tanko, the campaign spokesperson for the LP, branded INEC’s action as “judicial insubordination.”
“The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) with the greatest impunity have refused, neglected, and failed to obey the order of the presidential election petition tribunal sitting in Abuja on March 3, 2023, directing it to grant the Labour Party and its presidential candidate H.E. Peter Gregory Obi permission to apply for and receive from INEC certified true copies of materials used in the presidential election held on February 25, 2023,” he said.
“It will be noted that INEC was served with the aforementioned order of the presidential election petition tribunal on March 3, 2023, despite their presence and representation at the tribunal when the order was issued.
“Notwithstanding the delivery of the aforementioned order on INEC, as well as a reminder letter dated March 6, 2023, and delivered on the same date to the INEC headquarters in Abuja, the electoral umpire has continued to disregard and/or defy the legitimate order of such magnitude until NOW.
“It is important to stress that in a democracy such as ours, the rule of law must prevail not only in our legal system but also throughout our entire body politic.
“Parties to a lawsuit such as this one must accept and obey every court order in good faith, and no party should be seen to use self-help to criticize or disobey a court order, which, if unchecked and unrestrained, might undermine our democracy, rule of law, and constitution.
“The referenced action of INEC is also, for all intents and purposes, an act of judicial insubordination and wilful failure to comply with the court’s decision. INEC has opted to comply with a court order to modify the BIVAS machine, which they are doing as we speak, while denying our request to inspect election materials.
According to the Labour Party’s campaign, the disobedience to court order is a premeditated attempt to undermine and thwart the party’s petition presentation.
“We therefore wish to emphasize that we will not fail to call on our followers to march to INEC offices around the nation in a lawful, nonviolent protest.” This is to prevent INEC’s egregious contempt of court orders, as stated by the LP campaign.