Ahead of the upcoming elections in Nigeria, 61 political parties have threatened to take the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to court over the 2019 general election guidelines.
The parties claim that INEC had inserted some new clauses in the 2019 general election guidelines which would lead to massive rigging of the elections.
The four plaintiffs representing the 61 political parties namely Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere (APP), Dr. Sam Eke (GPN), Nsehe Nseobong (RPP) and Kenneth Udeze (AAP) will file the suit at the Federal High court on Monday. The suit is seeking to stop the Monday release of the general election guideline by the INEC Chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, as a majority of the political parties oppose the guideline over non-consultation, obnoxious clauses and the violation of the constitution, reported This Day.
In an official statement, Ugochinyere said that the suit will call out the court to remove some sections of the draft guideline, which were in conflict with the provisions of the 1999 Constitution, including the obnoxious provisions inserted into the guideline, which will lead to massive rigging of the 2019 elections. He said Section 155 of the Electoral Act gives political parties the power to challenge INEC’s election guidelines in court.
In the statement, the representatives of the political parties claimed that removal of the obnoxious clauses contained in the guidelines is necessary for free and fair election. Ugochinyere clarified that the INEC Chairman must call out an emergency meeting of all the party chairmen to discuss and resolve the grey areas contained in the guidelines and prevent the 2019 election from running into a hitch and credibility crisis before the Election Day.
He warned that if in case the INEC chairman goes ahead to issue out the guideline without the input of the political parties then it may even lead to a bigger protest.