The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Nigeria’s main opposition party, has rejected a court order stopping the collation of pending results of the governorship election in Bauchi state, northern Nigeria.
Naija News reports that a federal high court in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital had given an ex parte order directing the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the nation’s electoral umpire, to halt the collation of results from Tafawa Balewa local government area of Bauchi state.
This online news platform understands that the court gave the order while ruling on a suit filed by Mohammed Abubakar, governor of the state who is of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Apparently displeased with the order, PDP threatened to obtain similar ones stopping the swearing in of all candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC) “particularly President Muhammadu Buhari”, describing the order as “unconstitutional”.
Reacting in a statement issued by its spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, the party accused the APC of arm-twisting the judiciary over the election which he claims his party has won.
The statement reads: “Our party should not be constrained into a situation in which we will have no option than to allow our members to seek similar ex parte orders to halt statutory processes including the swearing-in of APC candidates at various levels, particularly President Muhammadu Buhari,” Ologbondiyan said.
“The party alerts that such development, which is akin to the infamous order that derailed the 1993 democratic process, is part of the plot by the APC and certain compromised elements in the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to escalate crisis and derail our electoral process.
“The power to collate, suspend collation and or to reverse such decision based on obvious circumstances as the case in Bauchi is clearly within the domain of INEC,” the statement added.
PDP noted that until collation is completed and results declared, “no one can question the constitutional powers of INEC.”
“Our party should not be constrained into a situation in which we will have no option than to allow our members to seek similar exparte orders to halt statutory processes including the swearing-in of APC candidates at various levels, particularly President Muhammadu Buhari,” it said.
“It is clear that collation of result is part of the electoral process and that INEC cannot act on a purported exparte order to jettison its independence and halt the collation of results, which is a key component of its statutory electoral duty.
“Our party, therefore, charges INEC to be properly guided by the law in this regard,” it added.