The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has advised the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to desist from making libelous allegations against the person of its Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu.
The Chief Press Secretary to INEC Chairman, Rotimi Oyekanmi, gave the advice Friday in Abuja, while responding to PDP’s demand on Yakubu to resign from his position.
Oyekanmi said that the latest call by the PDP, just like it did previously for the resignation of Yakubu as Chairman of INEC was misplaced.
“Interestingly, the PDP did not provide any convincing evidence to back up all the spurious allegations it listed as Yakubu’s “infractions”.
“To be sure, the PDP failed to provide any evidence to substantiate the allegations of Yakubu’s “brazen violation of the provisions of the Electoral Act 2022, INEC’s Regulations and Guidelines, and criminal manipulation and alteration of election results”.
“The PDP also did not give the evidence to prove its claims that Prof. Yakubu “sabotaged the uploading and transmission of results from polling units,” he said.
Oyekanmi said that besides, the “several evidences” that the PDP claimed “abound in the six geo-political zones of the country where winning figures scored by the PDP were switched in favour of the APC” were also not laid bare.
“To be sure, INEC does not rig elections. Rather, the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) has, since its introduction, among other innovations, ensured the integrity of the electoral process by ensuring that only properly registered voters are allowed to vote on election day.”
Oyekanmi advised the PDP to toe the part of honour and pursue its case in court.
“It is common knowledge that the PDP has rejected the outcome of the presidential election and has vowed to challenge it in court.
“The path of honour for the party, therefore, is to pursue its case in court, armed with all the evidences at its disposal and wait for the court’s decision.
”But going about canvassing the same issues the party intends to plead in court on the pages of newspapers and calling for the resignation of the INEC Chairman is like putting the cart before the horse.
“More importantly, the PDP is hereby reminded that making libelous allegations against the person of the INEC Chairman is actionable. The party should henceforth desist from the practice,” Oyekanmi warned.
The PDP had earlier demanded the resignation of Yakubu.
The PDP National Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunagba, while addressing a press conference in Abuja said that the PDP had further reviewed the conduct of February 25 presidential and National Assembly elections.
Ologunagba alleged that the elections were conducted in violation of the provisions of the Electoral Act, 2022 and the results were manipulated to subvert the will of Nigerians.
He said PDP had reviewed the move by INEC to reconfigure the BVAS, erase and destroy evidence of the Presidential election.
He said the action was aimed at denying Nigerians and political parties, especially PDP and its candidate access to relevant information required to prosecute its case at the Presidential Election Tribunal.
Ologunagba called on Inspector General of Police and Director General of the Directorate of State Services (DSS) to immediately commence investigations into alleged electoral violations and manipulations by INEC.
He also called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to investigate allegations that certain top officials of INEC were heavily compromised financially to manipulate the electoral process.