The National Chairman of the People's Democratic Party (PDP), Uche Secondus, has alleged that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is trying to abdicate its constitutionally assigned responsibility of conducting a free, fair and transparent elections.
His statements came after media reports that INEC will stop procurement of electronic voting machines for the 2023 polls because of the rejection of e-transmission of election results by the National Assembly.
Secondus said that the existing Electoral Act and 1999 Constitution gave INEC the power to conduct credible elections, and it does not need the National Assembly's approval to carry out its duties.
"From all indications, INEC is trying to abdicate its constitutionally assigned responsibilities of conducting free, fair and transparent elections hiding under the cover of delayed amended Electoral Act or rejection of e-transmission of results", he revealed.
"Nigerians and democratic observers globally are watching INEC ahead of 2023 and it will be disastrous if the Independent Electoral Body dances to the antics of the ruling party", he further said.
According to Secondus, if INEC can conduct governorship elections in Edo and Ondo states in September and October last year respectively without the amended Electoral Act, it is possible to do the same thing all over the country without the amended electoral act.
INEC is an independent body, and as such is devoid of all forms of external influence, even from the Government. However, if these allegations mated out to them by Uche Secondus happens to be true, then the body will need to be looked into. Free, fair and transparent elections are one of the unique features of the INEC body and should therefore, be portrayed at all times, not minding external bodies.
The National Assembly can reject election results but has no right according to the Constitution to stop INEC from conducting elections and calling out the winners of such elections. An act of such by the National Assembly is a breach of the Law.
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