The New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) has said the refusal of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to obey the court orders directing it to replace Sen. Ibrahim Shekarau and other members of the party is politically motivated.
Our correspondent reports that Shekarau, who won the party’s ticket for Kano Central zone, later defected to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), but attempts to replace him with Senator Rufai Hanga through the instrumentality of the law has failed.
Addressing newsmen at the party’s national secretariat yesterday in Abuja, NNPP’s National Publicity Secretary, Dr Agbo Major, described INEC’s refusal to obey Court of Appeal order to replace NNPP’s candidates who had either withdrawn or resigned their membership of the party as politically motivated.
Major, who said such disregard to the rule of law will not stand in a democratic system, urged the electoral umpire to stop being partisan.
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He said INEC, in an “awkward display of partisan politics unbecoming of an electoral umpire”, has refused to accept NNPP candidates submitted to it on September 12, 2022 after an earlier one on 30th August, 2022.
He listed the candidates of the party as Senator Rufai Hanga who is to replace Senator Ibrahim Shekarau for Kano Central; Murtala Garba to replace Hon. Ibrahim Mikra for Taraba South Senatorial District and Zakari Yau Hassan to replace Hon. Mohammed Seidu Maikifi for Potiskum Central House of Assembly in Yobe State.
“It is unfortunate that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), a veritable symbol of the nation’s democracy currently preparing to conduct the 2023 general election, can show utter disrespect, disregard and disdain to the clear orders of the Court of Appeal and the Federal High Court directing it to accept the names of the fresh candidates submitted to it by the party to replace those that withdrew their candidature and resigned from the party,” the party said.
Efforts to get INEC reaction on the matter was unsuccessful.
But INEC’s head of legal department in Kano, Suleiman Tahir, in an interaction with reporters recently said they could not replace Shekarau’s name because the new electoral law did not allow that.