INEC Refuses to Handover Election Data
Independent National Electoral Commission bars opposition party from inspecting election data despite court order
Nigeria’s Labour Party (LP) has accused INEC of refusing to hand over certified true copies of the data of the presidential election as ordered by the courts. The opposition party made this known in a press statement Saturday threatening to call on the “OBIdient” movement to occupy all INEC offices nationwide, till they obey the court order.
The LP in the statement signed by Dr Yunusa Tanko Chief Spokesman for the party said the electoral agency was acting with impunity in disregarding the court order.
“The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) with greatest impunity have refused, neglected and failed to obey the Order of the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja made on the 03rd day of March 2023.” The statement read.
The tribunal directed the electoral agency to grant the Labour Party and its presidential candidate Peter Gregory Obi leave to apply and receive from INEC, certified true copies of data used in the presidential election held on 25th February 2023.
Tanko went on to state that despite INEC officials presence in the court when the order was given and the order served at the INEC headquarters in Abuja, the body has refused to obey a valid order.
The LP spokesman also noted that INEC has chosen to reconfigure the BVAS system without stating that it had backed up the data from the presidential election to a secure cloud server.
If INEC continues to disregard the court order it will eventually undermine Nigeria’s democracy and the principle of the rule of law. He warned.
“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.”
The attempts by the authorities to frustrate the Labour Party in its petition, is seen by the opposition as a calculated attempt to deny Obi his legitimate mandate.
“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.” He stressed.
Akowe with reports from Abuja
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