61 political parties head to court to stop INEC from releasing 2019 election guidelines
Seeking nullification of clauses in conflict with Electoral Act, 1999 constitution
THE battle over the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) draft guidelines for the 2019 general election as rejected by 61 Political parties has taken a new dimension with the decision of the majority of the Chairmen of the Political parties to head to court today to stop them from releasing the guidelines.
The affected Chairmen are also seeking to quash some sections of the draft guideline which were in conflict with the provisions of the 1999 constitution and other clauses considered as ‘obnoxious provisions’.
According to a statement made available to newsmen in Abuja yesterday by Mr Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere, National Chairman Action Peoples, Party APP, and Spokesperson for the 61 parties who rejected the Guideline, the suit which would be filled today at the Federal High court Abuja.
The suit is being instituted by four National Chairmen of four political parties suing on behalf of the rest of the 61 political parties against the guideline.
According to the statement,the Plaintiffs (Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere APP party, Dr Sam Eke GPN party, Nsehe Nseobong RP party and Barr Kenneth Udeze AA party) would be seeking for an Exparte Application for an injunction to restrain the INEC chairman from going ahead with the today’s planned release of the guidelines which majority of the Political Parties had rejected over non consultation, obnoxious clauses and the violation of the Constitution.
They insisted that the only way to have free and fair election was for those clauses contained in the guidelines which did not promote free and fair elections to be expunged and that the INEC chairman summon an emergency meeting with Political Parties chairmen to finally address the grey areas contained in the guidelines to avoid the 2019 election running into a hitch and credibility crisis even before the day of election.
They also insisted that the chairman of the INEC should retain the 2011 and 2015 separate accreditation and separate voting system which Nigerian voters were fully familiar with and avoid creating confusion and loophole for massive tampering of result with the continuous/same time accreditation and voting.
According to the statement, other contentious issues “are the flawed accreditation procedure which allows fake voters whose names are not on the voters register including people with fake PVC or voters not properly accredited are been allowed to vote.”
It stated that: “The Chairmen are currently mobilising more party leaders to move against the INEC chairman in the event that he goes ahead to issue out the guideline without the input of the political parties and without removing the obnoxious clauses which will ruin the free and fair election.
“We will declare INEC Chairman Persona Non grata if he issues the doctored guideline without input and meeting with political parties chairmen,” It warned.