The New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to obey the court’s ruling, directing it to substitute the party’s candidates.
Its National Chairman, Prof. Rufai Alkali, made the call on Wednesday at a news conference in Abuja.
Alkali said: “We most humbly urge the Commission to urgently comply with the court’s orders, expeditiously delivered by the Federal High Court and Appellate Court.
“This will further build up confidence of the political parties and general public in the commission’s unflinching and unwavering commitment to conduct free, fair and credible elections in 2023.”
He recalled that the party had dragged INEC to court over disagreements on the issue of uploading and submission of names of some of its candidates.
“On the first set of candidates, the lower court gave us a favourable judgment, about 80 National Assembly candidates were to be substituted.
“The position of the court at that time was that though, INEC has its own guidelines, the Electoral Act provision supercedes that in terms of the timeline for final submission of candidates.
“Subsequently, we had a separate case of two senatorial candidates who purchased our forms and were screened and nominated after the primaries.
“One was Sen. Ibrahim Shekarau from Kano State and the other one from Taraba. Also one of our deputy governorship candidates from Yobe.
“There is another House of Assembly candidate from Potiskum, Yobe State.
“You know the place of a deputy governor that no governor can run without a deputy. So, when somebody is withdrawn, he has to be substituted,” the party chairman said.
He commended the judiciary for being the last bastion of hope for the people and a pillar of democracy and democratic processes, particularly leading to the 2023 general elections.
“Our party, NNPP, particularly has benefitted immensely from the sound judgments of the Federal High Court and Appellate Court, which were delivered with dispatch over the substitution of our candidates.
“We also wish to use this medium to most, especially appreciate the INEC under the able leadership of amiable Patriotic Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, for its sense of responsibility to the promotion of Rule of Law and commitment to conducting the most credible elections in 2023.
“We want to use this opportunity to assure Prof. Mahmood Yakubu of our confidence in him and his commission to deliver a sound election that will stand the test of time.
“We, therefore, pledge our unflinching support for him and INEC.
“We appreciate the enormity of the assignments before INEC; we, however, believe that the commission would continue to implement the court’s rulings for the betterment of our country,” Alkali said.