The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has cautioned the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to desist from making libellous allegations against its chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu.
Addressing a press conference on Friday in Abuja, Debo Ologunagba, PDP spokesperson, said Yakubu should be investigated and prosecuted for allegedly breaching provisions of the 2022 electoral act in the conduct of the presidential election.
The PDP claimed that the plan by INEC to reconfigure the bimodal voter accreditation system (BVAS), for the governorship election, is a “scheme to erase and destroy evidence of its manipulation of the presidential election”.
Ologunagba called for the resignation of Yakubu, saying his continued stay as INEC chairman is injurious to the integrity of the electoral commission.
“From all indications, the INEC under Mahmood Yakubu was compromised to rig the election by brazenly violating the provisions of the Electoral Act, 2022,” Ologunagba said.
Reacting in a statement, Rotimi’s Oyekanmi, chief press secretary to the INEC chairman, said the call for Yakubu’s resignation is misplaced, adding that “making libellous allegations against the person of the INEC Chairman is actionable.”
He said the PDP did not provide any convincing evidence to back up its allegations and added that the party should take its case to court.
“To be sure, the PDP failed to provide any evidence to substantiate the allegations of Yakubu’s “brazen violation of the provisions of the Electoral Act 2022, INEC’s Regulations and Guidelines, and criminal manipulation and alteration of election results,” the statement reads.
“The PDP also did not give the evidence to prove its claims that Prof. Yakubu sabotaged the uploading and transmission of results from polling units.
“To be sure, the Commission does not rig elections. Rather, the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) has, since its introduction, among other innovations, ensured the integrity of the electoral process by ensuring that only properly registered voters are allowed to vote on Election Day.
“The path of honour for the party, therefore, is to pursue its case in court, armed with all the evidence at its disposal and wait for the court’s decision.
“But going about canvassing the same issues the party intends to plead in court on the pages of newspapers and calling for the resignation of the INEC Chairman is like putting the cart before the horse.”