IPAC urges tribunal against judgment based on emotions, technicalities
Off-season polls: INEC cautions parties against violence
Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) has advised the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal (PEPT) not to base its final judgment on public sentiments or technicalities, but on reasonable interpretation of substantive and procedural law.
According to the organisation, “what Nigeria needs now is fairness, equity and justice.” IPAC chairman, Yabagi Yusuf Sani, disclosed this, yesterday, during a review of the 2023 general election between leadership of political parties and Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Abuja.
He applauded the decision of some political parties to go to court and challenge the outcome of the election but warned that the court must not be swayed by emotions or technicalities.
Specifically, Sani said: “Two major opposition parties – Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Labour Party, as well as three other political parties, disagreed with the outcome and have since gone to the PEPT, consistent with norms and values of the electoral process. We commend them for following the path of law.
“However, we really hope that the decision of the court will not be based on some perverse public policy rationale or technicalities, but, rather, on reasoned and reasonable interpretation of substantive and procedural law.”
He recalled how IPAC had, on February 28, at the National Collation Centre in Abuja, rose to the occasion and encouraged INEC to continue and conclude collation of results for the presidential election, to guarantee survival of democracy in Nigeria.
He said the position taken by IPAC was, however, without prejudice to some of its member-political parties who have since approached the courts for redress.
Sani added that as Nigeria approaches off-season elections in Imo, Bayelsa and Kogi states in November, all hands must be on deck to ensure Resident Electoral Commissioners and Returning Officers are not pressured by governors and INEC to falsify results.
Earlier, INEC chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, cautioned political parties and their supporters against pre-election violence ahead of the off-season polls.
Urging candidates to call supporters to order, Yakubu said the use of thugs to harass election officials, intimidate voters and disrupt processes must be addressed.
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