Sixty-one political parties have threatened to sue the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, over the latter’s guidelines for the 2019 general elections.
The development came few days after the political parties, operating under the aegis of Coalition of United Political Parties, CUPP and Inter-party Advisory Council, IPAC, unanimously rejected the draft guidelines presented to them by the electoral umpire.
In a signed Sunday by CUPP’s 1st national spokesman, Ikenga Ugochinyere, the 61 aggrieved parties said they will file a legal suit today to stop INEC from releasing the guideline and also quash some sections of the draft guideline which were in conflict with the provisions of the 1999 constitution, including the obnoxious provisions inserted into the guideline which will lead to massive rigging of the 2019 elections.
The parties stated: “The suit which will be filed tomorrow (today),at the Federal High Court by 10am has four national chairmen of four political parties suing on behalf of the rest of the 61 political parties against the guideline.
“Ikenga Ugochinyere, APP; Dr Sam Eke, GPN; Nsehe Nseobong, RP Party and Barr. Kenneth Udeze, AA, will be seeking an exparte application for an injunction to restrain INEC chairman from going ahead with Monday’s planned release of the controversial guideline which majority of the nation’s political parties (over 61) have rejected over non-consultation, obnoxious clauses and violation of the Constitution.”
“The chairmen of the political parties still insist that the only way to have free and fair election is for those obnoxious clauses contained in the guidelines which does not promote free and fair elections to be expunged and that the INEC chairmen summons 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.
“The parties still insist that the chairman of INEC retains the 2011 and 2015 separate accreditation and separate voting system which Nigerian voters are fully familiar with and avoid creating confusion and loophole for massive tampering of result with the continuous/same time accreditation and voting.
”INEC recently tried the method in a few re-runs but that is not enough to extend such voting method to all parts of the country a few weeks to the election.
“The demand of party chairmen is for INEC to continue the separate accreditation and separate voting system and ensure that at the end of accreditation across the country on election day, INEC polling unit staff first announce the total polling unit accredited figures and sign and issue out to party agents at the polling unit before commencement of voting.
“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, to vote.
“The party chairmen are currently mobilising more party leaders to move against the INEC chairman in the event that he goes ahead to issue out the guidelines without the input of the political parties and without removing the obnoxious clauses which will ruin free and fair election.
”The options on the table of the political parties’ chairmen will not stop on tomorrow’s court action but will include a vote of no confidence on the INEC chairman and the commission, including a call to step down and a persona-non-grata declaration and mass protest to alert Nigerians that the 2019 election process have been manipulated.”