Kogi: APC urges INEC to halt inspection of election materials by SDP, INEC responds

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has asked the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to halt the planned November 11, 2023 inspection of Kogi Governorship election materials by the Social Democratic Party (SDP).

APC also demanded the expulsion and disciplinary action against the Kogi INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner, Gabriel Longpet, accusing him of being compromised by the SDP and its candidate.

The Spokesman and Director of Media and Publicity of the APC Campaign Council, Kingsley Fanwo, expressed these concerns in a statement in Lokoja on Wednesday.

The APC criticized INEC’s decision to allow the SDP legal team to inspect the election materials, citing a purported preliminary objection earlier filed by INEC counsels at the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal in Abuja.

The party said: “We hereby call on the chairman and management of INEC to immediately halt any inspection of election materials used in the November 11, 2023 governorship election in Kogi, pending the determination of the motion on notice filed by INEC and others. set aside the order of inspection.

“INEC should initiate disciplinary processes against the REC, Dr. Longpet, because it has been heavily compromised by the SDP and its candidate.

“This is because the message from the REC to INEC officials scheduled to appear for inspection on Thursday, January 4, is an admission of corruption by him and a final nail in his fraudulent activities in the state.

TRENDING   Wike, Obaseki, Fubara, Sanwo-Olu, Uba Sani and other governors asked to consider over N40 trillion LGA allocations

“He (REC) has clearly misrepresented the integrity and legal interest of INEC. The commission should suspend or reinstate Kogi's REC pending the outcome of the disciplinary proceedings against him.”

APC noted that the demands were made amid the alleged action by the REC to assist the SDP in compromising/manipulating and/or destroying election materials used in the concluded November 11, 2023 governorship election in Kogi.

It alleged that the SDP and its candidate, Murtala Ajaka, obtained an ex-parte order from the tribunal on November 25, 2023, directing INEC, among other things, to permit an inspection of election materials used for the elections to support elections. SDP and its candidate institute are maintaining a petition that had not yet been submitted at the time.

The party further stated: “INEC was given only 48 hours to comply with the said orders, which include all forms, registers, result sheets, ballot papers and BVAS machines.

“After the order was served on November 27, 2023, INEC filed a motion with the Tribunal on November 29, 2023, asking the Court to set aside the said orders, arguing that the Tribunal had no jurisdiction to pass the said orders and for other reasons, such as apparent contradictions in the said ex-parte decision.

TRENDING   2024: Crisis rocks APC as trimming of candidates for governor leads to chaos

“That application for annulment, dated and filed on 29/11/2023, is, to our knowledge, still before the Tribunal as it has not yet been heard.

“It is also to be noted that the said order of inspection granted on 25/11/2023 has not yet been served on the winner of that election, Alhaji Usman Ododo and the APC, who are listed as parties in the said decision of Court.

“Most importantly, the petition for which the warrant of inspection was initially sought and granted was filed on December 2, 2023, whereby the SDP and its candidate admitted in paragraph 92 of the disputed petition that INEC had given them documents in the order, including the electoral register, BVAS accreditation reports and results sheets.

“With the above background in mind, it is therefore shocking to learn that the REC of INEC in Kogi, who works for an agency that has asked a court to make available for inspection the ex-parte order it made, is now organizing an inspection exercise in Abuja for the SDP and its candidate, an exercise fully and financially sponsored by the SDP and its candidate.”

TRENDING   You will die, no one will pity you – Wike sends a warning to kidnappers, informants in FCT

APC, therefore, frowned at the notices sent by the said REC to the affected staff of INEC in Kogi to appear in Abuja on Thursday to inspect the election materials.

The party stated: “The reports undoubtedly show the desperation of the Kogi Resident Electoral Commissioner who has been badly compromised by the Social Democratic Party, its candidate and their cohorts.”

In his reaction, the Kogi INEC Head of Voter Education and Publicity (VEP), Haruna Sule, expressed surprise at APC’s allegations, which he said were in line with the scheduled inspection of election materials on January 4.

He said: “The false allegations made by APC cannot hold water because the matter lies outside our office in Kogi but that of the INEC headquarters in Abuja.

Story continues below ad

“REC acts on instructions from headquarters and should not be wrongly accused.”

Whatsapp NEW: Click “HERE” to join our WhatsApp Channel and receive News updates directly on WhatsApp!

Whatsapp NEW: Click “HERE” to join our Telegram Channel and receive News updates directly on Telegram!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *