APGA alleges double standard as INEC meets to review procedures
As the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) holds its monthly meeting today, members of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) have accused the electoral umpire of applying double standards in its oversight of political parties.
A source in the commission said the periodic meeting is usually to evaluate progress and challenges against timelines. The source said: “Today’s meeting would look at the activities of the next stage of preparations for next year’s elections.”
However, it was learnt that issues of submission of candidates’ names by political parties taking part in the general elections would dominate the commission’s deliberations, amid concerns by stakeholders for INEC’s sluggishness in enforcing extant provisions of the Electoral Act 2022.
Meanwhile, APGA has urged Nigerians to watch INEC closely, stressing that it is possible that the commission is working to stall the 2023 general elections and engender some constitutional crises in the country.
In an interaction with The Guardian, founding Chairman of the party, Dr. Chekwas Okorie, regretted that, while INEC hurriedly came up with a valid explanation about the true position in Labour Party (LP) where two rival presidential candidates emerged, it has refused to take a stand in APGA’s case.
It was gathered that at the height of the emergence of Jude Ezenwafor as the presidential candidate of a faction of LP headed by Callistus Okafor, INEC recognised Julius Abure-led leadership.
INEC had asserted that former governor, Peter Obi, who emerged as the presidential standard-bearer of LP, did not identify with the wrong faction as erroneously speculated.
But, responding to The Guardian enquiries on recent developments in the party against the backdrop of INEC’s delay in deliberating on the report provided by the commission’s legal department and department of parties monitoring, Okorie said the commission has continued to encourage division within APGA for vested interest.
Meanwhile, INEC’s national commissioner in charge of communication, Mr. Festus Okoye, had declared that anybody who feels unsatisfied with the commission’s position on matters of the party leadership was free to approach the court.