The Labour Party (LP) has faulted the process of collating the result of last Saturday’s Presidential and National Assembly Elections by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC),saying it will challenge the outcome in court.
LP alleged that most of its members were deliberately disenfranchised through varied means across the country, but were more discerning in its strongholds.
The party in a statement on Sunday issued by the National of Secretary, Alhaji Umar Farouk Ibrahim said while the party made inroads with high votes in most parts of Northern Nigeria, LP members were deliberately prevented from voting, chased away violently from polling units, or had ballot papers and boxes destroyed and burnt in others.
He cited Lagos, Rivers, Bayelsa, Kano, Yobe and Edo states among places where such acts were rampantly perpetrated in violation of the electoral act 2022 as amended.
Umar said in some places, INEC staff and electoral materials were not deployed to areas that are known to be strongholds of Labour Party, or deployed late to frustrate the party supporters who, psychologically got tired of waiting and had to leave the polling units for the fear of the unknown.
“The delay by INEC to upload and announce results, especially where Labour Party, is already known to have taken lead, is also worrisome and we feel it is deliberate to anger our party and our supporters” he said.
Umar also alleged that intelligence from the fields revealed that across the Northern states, electorates identified as Labour Party supporters were tactically denied access to their polling units by some officials who connived with others to confuse the electorates by insisting their polling units are different and sending them to the wrongs ones. He said this frustrated the electorates, and reduced the votes polled by Labour Party, which would have more than doubled if the right things were done.
LP called on INEC to checkmate and call its polling staff to order and also ensure punitive measures in line with the electoral Act 2022 as amended.
The Labour Party National Secretary assured that the party would definitely challenge the outcome and final result in court.
He however called on the party members and supporters to be calm, remain law abiding, but be encouraged with their efforts so far, and mobilise even more for the next round of elections, as the party takes steps to right the wrong meted out to her in the Saturday presidential and National Assembly Elections.