With a about a month to the 2023 general election, the New Nigerian People’s Party (NNPP) has strongly criticised the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for refusing to obey a subsisting Court order on substitution candidates who defected from the party to other platforms.
The National Legal Adviser of the party, Barrister Robert Hon, stated this at a press conference held at the party’s national headquarters in Abuja on Monday, where he accused INEC of evading the decision of the Supreme Court to replace the candidates who left the party and joined other parties on their own will.
“After INEC lost the first and second court cases on this issue, it again contacted three top lawyers and several other cousels in preparation for a Supreme Court battle on this issue,” he said.
Barrister Robert Hon pointed out that, “The party is asking INEC as an impartial electoral body to look into the matter and respect the decision of the Court of Appeal, which asked INEC to publish the names of its candidates in Kano Central Senatorial District, Potiskum in Yobe State and Taraba South senatorial district.
“These are the vacancies that the party handed over to INEC to replace the members of the party who left the party on their own free will to join other parties.”
The Legal Adviser of NNPP, however, berated INEC over its refusal to obey the court order on substitution of candidates for the 2023 elections.
“And it is on this legal premise that INEC lost at the High Court and Appeal Court respectively and now heading to Supreme Court with the engagement of senior counsels pursuant to the case which was already lost at the Appeal Court.
“Our question is what interest INEC has in a case that it has lost its legal battle at two different courts now heading to Supreme Court.
“As an unbiased empire, INEC should not decide who contests under our party in the forthcoming elections, neither does it has the right to impose a candidate after the party has fulfilled the relevant provisions of the law with regards to filling the space left by former party members,” he added.