- The INEC has said it will not argue or canvass in the media, petitions that are sub-judice
- This was in reaction to PDP's claims on the conduct of Saturday, February 23 presidential election
- The electoral body noted that it would continue to be a law-abiding body
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has reacted to the recent claims by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on the outcome of the Saturday, February 23, presidential election.
Premium Times reports that the electoral commission said it would not canvass in the media, matters that are sub-judice.
Legit.ng gathered that in a statement by its national commissioner, Festus Okoye, on Monday, April 15, the INEC said it would not do so because it is a law-abiding body.
He said: “The commission is a law-abiding institution and will not argue or canvass in the media, petitions that are sub-judice and where the presidential election petitions tribunal is firmly seized of the issues.
“The commission is a law-abiding institution and will continue to accord the requisite respect to judicial institutions and obey the orders of court."
President Muhammadu Buhari, who ran as the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), won the presidential election after polling 15,191,847 to beat Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who polled 11,262,978 votes.
Abubakar, however, is challenging the victory of the president at the presidential election petition tribunal with a 139-page document. He claims he polled 18,356,732 votes while Buhari recorded 16,741,430 from the data in INEC’s server. But INEC denied this saying the PDP’s claim is false.
The electoral body has said it is aware there are issues and it has, as a respondent, responded to the petitions filed by the petitioners.
“The commission as one of the respondents in the petition filed by the PDP and its presidential candidate has responded to the said petition," the commission said.
The commission believes if there is a need for any action, the lawyers representing the petitioners know what to do.
“The lawyers representing the petitioners are seized of the state of the law and the course to take if they truly believe that the commission is in disobedience of the orders of the presidential election petitions tribunal," it added.
Recall that the APC has urged the tribunal to dismiss PDP’s petition for incompetence. It argued that section 131(a) of the Constitution stipulates that a person must be a citizen of Nigeria by birth to be qualified to contest for the office of the president.
“Atiku is not a citizen of Nigeria by birth and ought not to have even been allowed in the first place to contest the election,” the ruling party said.
In response, Abubakar said the APC does not deserve a response from him over its claim that he was not born a Nigerian.
In a statement on Saturday, April 13, Paul Ibe, Abubakar’s media adviser, said such “ridiculous defence” from the APC to his statistical claims “shows to Nigerians the type of characters we have in the APC.”
Also, the PDP dismissed claims by the APC that its presidential candidate, is a Cameroonian.
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