The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has responded to the Labour Party’s call for the removal of its Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, regarding the outcome of the 2023 general election, stating that the party has no basis for such a demand. Mr. Rotimi Oyekanmi, the Chief Press Secretary to the INEC Chairman, made this statement during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Thursday.
Oyekanmi described the reasons provided by the Labour Party (LP) as illogical and ridiculous. He clarified that election observers, both local and international, were accredited by INEC to observe elections under specific rules and regulations. According to these rules, the observers are required to submit their reports to the commission, which may or may not include recommendations. It is not within the mandate of any election observer to indict INEC, as their role is solely to observe and provide recommendations if necessary.
Likewise, Oyekanmi stated that it is beyond the LP’s jurisdiction to demand the dismissal and prosecution of the INEC Chairman based on the outcome of an election in which the party fielded candidates. He highlighted that despite the LP’s grievances, the party has successfully produced a state governor, eight senators, 35 members of the House of Representatives, and 38 members of the State Houses of Assembly from the same 2023 General Election.
Oyekanmi found it peculiar that the LP, a political party that is currently in court challenging the outcome of the 2023 presidential election, would openly discuss the matter at a press conference, despite it being sub judice.
He reminded the LP that it is one of the 18 political parties registered and regulated by INEC, and advised the party to limit its activities to those permitted under the rules and regulations governing political parties’ conduct.
The Labour Party had earlier called for a forensic investigation into the expenditure of the budget and donor funds received by INEC for the 2023 general election. Otumba Akin Osuntokun, the Director General of the Obi-Datti Presidential Campaign Council, expressed the party’s desire for transparency in how the funds were disbursed during a media briefing in Abuja.
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