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imageTHE Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has rejected the move by the All Progressives Congress (APC) to replace its candidate for the inconclusive Kogi State gubernatorial election even before the process starts.
The opposition party also accused the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Mallam Abubakar Malami and the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmood Yakubu, of trying to subvert the constitution of the country through their decision to implement the alleged illegality.
The National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Chief Olisa Metuh, addressed a press conference in Abuja, on Tuesday, following a meeting of the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) and demanded the resignation of the two officials.
According to him, Malami has to immediately vacate his office for allegedly misleading INEC into arriving at the decision to allow the APC to substitute its candidate.
He said: “The party is shocked that INEC, a supposedly independent electoral umpire, could succumb to the antics of the APC by following the unlawful directive of an obviously partisan AGF to substitute a candidate in the middle of the ballot process.
“We are all aware that the two legal documents guiding INEC in the conduct of elections; the Constitution and the Electoral Act, have provisions for electoral exigencies as well as empower the electoral body to fully take responsibility for any of its actions or inaction without undue interference from any quarters whatsoever.
“We are therefore at a loss as to which sections of these two relevant laws, INEC and the AGF relied on in arriving at their bizarre decision to substitute a dead candidate in an on-going election even after the timelines for such has elapsed under all the rules.
“INEC as a statutory body has the full complements of technical hands in its legal department to advise it appropriately and we wonder why it had to wait for directives from the AGF, an external party, if not for partisan and subjective interest.
“Consequently, the PDP rejects in its entirety, this brazen move by the APC and INEC to circumvent the laws and ambush the yet-to-be concluded election by introducing a practice that is completely alien to the constitution and the electoral act
“The clear implication of this action of the AGF and INEC is that the APC would be fielding two different governorship candidates in the on-going Kogi election, meaning that INEC would be transferring votes cast for late Prince Abubakar Audu to another candidate, scenarios that have no place in the constitution of the land.
“Whereas the PDP, in honour of the sanctity of human life and respect for the dead, had since Sunday refrained from making comments on the conduct of the election, we can no longer maintain such in the face of the barefaced attack on our democracy.”
Worried by the developments, the PDP has summoned an emergency meeting of its National Caucus for Wednesday “to take a decision on this obvious threat to our democracy.”
Culled from Tribune

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