The national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to declare its candidate, Governor Idris Wada as the winner of the November 21 governorship election in Kogi state.
The party is also seeking the exclusion of the All Progressives Congress (APC) from the supplementary election slated for December 5. The INEC had declared the election inconclusive following the cancellation of the poll in 91 units across 18 local governments in the state.
The party’s position was contained in a communiqué issued at the end of its national caucus meeting held in Abuja on Wednesday night.
The communiqué, signed by the National Publicity Secretary Olisa Metuh, said with the APC candidate Abubakar Audu’s death during the election process, the APC has legally “crashed out” of the race.
Audu and his running mate James Faleke won in 16 out of the 21 local government areas, leading the PDP candidate with over 40,000 votes.
INEC declared the election inconclusive, citing irregularities and violence that led to cancellation in 91 polling units across 18 local government areas.
The electoral body offered to conduct a supplementary election in units where the election was cancelled. It had also given the APC a window to field a substitute candidate for the supplementary poll.
But the PDP said there is no known law or constitutional provision that allows for the substitution of candidates, once the ballot process has commenced. The party has threatened to challenge INEC’s decision in court.
“The PDP completely rejects the decision of INEC in yielding to the unlawful prompting of a clearly partisan Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Mallam Abubakar Malami, to allow APC to substitute a candidate in the middle of an election, even when such has no place in the Constitution and the Electoral Act.
With the unfortunate death of Prince Abubakar Audu, the APC has no valid candidate in the election, leaving INEC with no other lawful option than to declare the PDP candidate, Capt. Idris Wada as the winner of the election”, the communique said.
The party noted that the combine reading of the provisions of the constitution and the Electoral Act did not in any way whatsoever support the substitution of candidates for election in the middle of the ballot process.
The PDP insisted that if APC is allowed to substitute its original candidate, then the party would have fielded two separate candidates in the same election, a scenario which it said was completely alien to electoral laws and to any known democratic norms and practice the world over.
Caucus observes that the APC, fully aware that it has no case before the law is now orchestrating confusion in the polity with a view to diverting attention from its glaring incompetence and failure of governance.
The added: “We observed that the leadership of INEC as presently constituted under the chairmanship of Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, has demonstrated that it is incapable of neutrality and as such cannot be vested with the conduct of the Kogi governorship supplementary election as well as the December 5, 2015 Bayelsa governorship election.
“As a result, caucus demands the immediate resignation of the chairman and all national commissioners of INEC to pave the way for a new non-partisan commission to conduct the forth-coming elections.
“Caucus also demands the immediate resignation of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Mallam Abubakar Malami for deliberately misleading INEC into arriving at the unconstitutional decision of allowing APC to substitute its candidate in the inconclusive election.
“We note that in order to save the nation’s democracy from imminent collapse, the PDP as a critical stakeholder will immediately challenge this unlawful and unconstitutional decision by INEC in the court.
“Caucus also alerts that the AGF, INEC and APC are creating a scenario where a loser in a primary will patiently wait for the winning candidate to finish election and then have him either poisoned or assassinated before the final collation of results.
“Caucus calls on the international community to prevail on the APC government to stop this ceaseless assault on our democracy”.
Culled from: http://thenationonlineng.net/wada-should-take-the-prize-says-pdp/