BY BRIGHT JACOB
The Labour Party has faulted the process and collation of results of Saturday’s presidential and National Assembly elections across the country, declaring that it will challenge the outcome in court.
According to the party, most of its members were deliberately disenfranchised through varied means across the country but were more discerning in its strongholds. The National Secretary of LP, Umar Ibrahim, in a statement in Kaduna on Sunday, said while the party made inroads with high votes in most parts of the North, her members were deliberately prevented from voting, chased away violently from polling units or had ballot papers and boxes destroyed and burnt in others. BRIGHT JACOB The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project has urged President Joe Biden of the United States to exercise his powers “pursuant to the Presidential Proclamations 7750 and 8697 and the Immigration and Nationality Act to ban Nigerian officials, politicians and other perpetrators and sponsors of violence during the just concluded elections.”
SERAP also urged Biden to “use the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act to block or revoke the visas of anyone suspected to be responsible for cases of intimidation, harassment and violence during the elections, and to impose asset freezes and property sanctions on them and their families.”
The letter followed reports of cases of election-related intimidation, harassment and violence in several states of the country, including in Akwa Ibom, Enugu, Gombe, Lagos, Edo, Ogun, Osun, Rivers, and Taraba He cited Lagos, Rivers, Bayelsa, Kano, Yobe, and Edo States as places where such acts were rampantly perpetrated in violation of the Electoral Act 2022 as amended.
Ibrahim said in some places, INEC staff and electoral materials were not deployed to areas that are known to be strongholds of the Labour Party or deployed late to frustrate the party supporters who psychologically got tired of waiting and had to leave the polling units for the fear of the unknown.
“The delay by INEC to upload and announce results, especially where Labour Party, is already known to have taken lead, is also worrisome and we feel it is deliberate to anger our party and our supporters,” he said Ibrahim also revealed that intelligence from the fields revealed that across the north ern states, voters identified as LP supporters were tactically denied access to their polling units by some INEC ad hoc staff who connived with others to confuse the electorates by insisting their polling units were different and sending them to the wrongs ones.
This, he said, frustrated the voters and reduced the votes polled by the party, which would have more than doubled if the right things were done. While calling on INEC to call its polling staff to order and also ensure punitive measures in line with the Electoral Act 2022 (as amended), the party scribe assured that the party would definitely challenge the outcome and final result in court.
He, however, called on the party members and supporters to be calm, remain lawabiding and mobilise even more for the next round of elections as the party takes steps to right the wrong meted out to her in the Saturday presidential and National Assembly elections.