Labour Party writes open letter to INEC chairman, accuses commission of ‘dishonour’

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The Labour Party, through its National Publicity Secretary, r. Obiora Ifoh, has raised serious concerns regarding an incident that occurred on the 19th day of October, 2023, during the Appeal Court proceedings in the case between the Labour Party candidate, Hon. Amobi Ogah, and the All Progressives Congress candidate, Nkiruka Onyejeocha, with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as a Respondent.

The concerns were raised in an open letter to INEC chairman, Professor Yakubu Mahmood.

It said revolves around a sudden change of legal representation by INEC at the Appeal Court without prior notice to the original counsel, J.O. Asoluka (SAN).

The party stated that the unanticipated change led to an altercation between the two counsels over who had the authority to represent INEC in the case, a move the LP said “appears to have been orchestrated to stall the proceedings at the Court of Appeal.”

Additionally, the Labour Party noted the presence of some expelled members of its party and certain leaders of the APC at the venue of the Appeal Court, who allegedly aimed to interfere with the legal representation of the Labour Party and were openly boasting about influencing the judgment in their favour.

Part of the letter read:

“Chairman sir, it has now dawned on us that the change of legal guard without properly notifying the interested parties was carefully orchestrated by the Commission in alliance with our opponents with the intention to stall proceedings at the Court of Appeal and frustrate our candidate’s appeal that was due for hearing on Thursday.

“We are raising this alarm because time is of essence, even though, the collaborators achieved their intentions as the appeal could not be heard and was adjourned by the court to enable INEC put its house in order and determine who of the two counsels, has her authority to represent her in the appeal.

“We are therefore using this platform to urge you to investigate the inglorious roles which the legal department of the commission is playing and sanction erring officials.

“The role of INEC in this matter is simply to defend the outcome of the election which it conducted and on which it declared Hon. Amobi Ogah as the duly-elected candidate to represent Isikwuato/Umunneochi Federal Constituency in the National Assembly.

“The Commission must reject any semblance of compromise. Nigerians are still looking up to it to redeem its image, aftermath of the controversial 2023 general elections. It must not allow a few pliable members of the Commission to further taint the integrity of the commission.”

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