The National Working Committee (NWC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on behalf of all members of the PDP, rejects in its entirety the declaration and return of the Presidential Candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, as President-elect by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The PDP demands that INEC immediately withdraws the Certificate of Return issued to the Presidential Candidate of the APC and cancel the Presidential election declaration in line with its powers under Section 65 of the Electoral Act 2022.
The Party insists that INEC in declaring the APC Presidential Candidate as winner, acted contrary to the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), the Electoral Act 2022 and the INEC Guidelines and Regulations for the conduct of the 2023 Presidential election.
The PDP holds that its Presidential Candidate, Atiku Abubakar clearly won the February 25, 2023 Presidential election having evidently scored the majority of lawful votes cast by Nigerians at the Polling Units.
Sadly, the election was marred by deliberate malpractices including the non-use of the Bimodal Voters Accreditation System (BVAS) and INEC’s refusal/failure to transmit directly the results from Polling Units to its Server/Website in flagrant violation of Section 60 (4)(b) of the Electoral Act 2022.
This violation of the Electoral Act by INEC as attested to by political parties, voters, Nigerians of all walks of life as well as local and International Observers, paved the way for the alteration, falsification, switching of results and allocation of figures in favour of the APC.
Nigerians can recall how on Friday, November 11, 2022, INEC through its National Commissioner and Chairman of INEC’ Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, assured that results will be transmitted directly from the Polling Units to ensure the integrity and credibility of election results in Nigeria.
In his words, “Our attention has been drawn to reports in a section of the media of alleged plans by the Commission to rig the 2023 General Election by abandoning the direct and real time electronic upload of Polling Unit results to INEC Result Viewing (IReV) Portal…
“The Commission has repeatedly reassured Nigerians that it will transmit results directly from the Polling Units as we witnessed in Ekiti and Osun State Governorship elections…. The IReV is one of the innovations introduced by the Commission to ensure the integrity and credibility of election results in Nigeria. It is therefore inconceivable that the Commission will turn around and undermine its own innovations. The Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) and IReV have come to stay for voter accreditation and uploading of polling unit results in real-time in Nigeria”.
By refusing therefore to transmit directly the results from the Polling Units, INEC violated the Electoral Act and its Rules and Regulation, compromised the process and marred the integrity and credibility of the election results.
The PDP therefore asserts that consequent upon the violation by INEC of Section 60 (4) of the Electoral Act, 2022 and its Rules and Guidelines on the election, the results announced by the INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, having not been earlier transmitted DIRECTLY from the Polling Units before the announcement are ultra vires, of no consequence and cannot stand.
Consequently, our Party and its Presidential Candidate have commenced action for legal redress to reclaim our victory in the 2023 Presidential election.
We appeal to our numerous supporters in Nigeria and across the world to remain calm, resilient, resolute and steadfast in the defence of democracy and the victory of our Party in the 2023 Presidential elections.
Hon. Debo Ologunagba
National Publicity Secretary