By Emmanuel Oloniruha
Abuja – The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has rejected a court order stopping the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from resuming collation of result of Bauchi state governorship election.
The party stated this in a statement issued by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan on Tuesday in Abuja.
A Federal High Court in Abuja on Tuesday, barred INEC from resuming collation and announcement of the election result.
Justice Inyang Ekwo issued the order following an ex parte application filed by the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Gov. Mohammed Abubakar of Bauchi state.
Ologbondiyan described the order as part of the plot by the APC and “some compromised elements” in INEC to escalate crisis and derail the country’s electoral process.
“The power to collate, suspend collation and or to reverse such decision based on obvious circumstances as the case in Bauchi is clearly within the domain of INEC.
“Until collation is completed and results declared, no one can question the constitutional powers of the electoral body- INEC, in that regard,” he said.
Ologbondiyan cautioned that if what it described as desperate underhand measure to halt electoral processes is not checked, the country’s hard earned democracy would fail.
“Our party should not be pushed into a situation in which we will have no option than to allow our members to seek similar exparte orders to halt statutory processes at various levels.
“It is clear that collation of result is part of the electoral process and that INEC cannot act on a purported exparte order to jettison its independence and halt the collation of results, which is a key component of its statutory electoral duty.
“Section 87 (10) of the Electoral Act is unambiguous in its prescription that “nothing in this section shall empower the courts to stop the holding of primaries or general election or the processes thereof under this Act pending the determination of a suit,” he said.
Ologbondiyan urged INEC to be properly guided by the law in that regard.
“Nigerians have elected the PDP in Bauchi state and nothing can change this reality,” he said.