Labour Party, on Saturday, threatened to call on its members to occupy offices of the Independent National Electoral Commission nationwide for allegedly frustrating its petition against the outcome of the 2023 presidential election.
Spokesman for the LP Presidential Campaign Council, Dr Yunusa Tanko, made this threat in a statement in Abuja.
He accused INEC of disobeying the order of the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal directing the electoral umpire to grant the party and its presidential candidate, Peter Obi, access to the certified true copies of materials used in the conduct of the poll.
Tanko said, “It will be recalled that the aforesaid order of the presidential election petition tribunal was duly served on INEC on March 3, 2023, despite the fact that they were present and represented at the tribunal when the Order was made.
“Not minding the service of the said order on INEC, and a reminder letter dated March 6, 2023, and delivered same date at the INEC Headquarters Abuja, the electoral umpire has continued to ignore and or disobey the valid Order of such magnitude till now.”
Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja had on March 3 granted the request of the Peoples Democratic Party presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, and his LP counterpart, Peter Obi’s request to inspect the materials used during the February 25 presidential election.
Both Atiku and Obi had approached the Presidential Election Court to seek permission for the inspection of materials used during the election.
The two opposition parties’ presidential candidates also refused to concede defeat in the February 25 presidential election, vowing to recover their mandate in court.
They both rebuffed the gesture of conciliation made by the President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress, who in his acceptance speech after he was declared the winner of the poll asked them to support him in the task of building the nation.
The two major opposition parties rejected the election results over alleged rigging, and voter intimidation, among other reasons.
Tanko in his statement, however, said, “The action of INEC under reference also constitutes for all intent and purposes, an act of judicial insubordination and willful refusal to comply with the order of court.
“As we speak INEC has chosen to obey the court order given to it to reconfigure the BIVAS machine, which they doing right now and ignoring the order granted to us to inspect electoral materials.
“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, and which is a well-calculated attempt to undermine and frustrate the presentation of the petition by the Labour Party and its presidential candidate before the tribunal in good time.
“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.”