Labour Party Calls for Dismissal and Prosecution of INEC Chairman in Wake of Controversial Presidential Elections
Labour Party Presidential Campaign Council Director General, Akin Osuntokun, has called for the immediate dismissal and prosecution of Prof Mahmood Yakubu, the National Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), citing his alleged involvement in the irregularities witnessed during the 2023 presidential elections. Osuntokun made these demands during an international press conference held at the party’s campaign headquarters in Abuja on Thursday.Emphasizing the need for transparency, Osuntokun also called for a forensic financial investigation into the commission’s expenditures and donations received before, during, and after the polls. He highlighted the necessity to scrutinize the allocated N300 billion from the national treasury, as well as other funds and materials obtained from international donor agencies.This development follows the February 25 election, where INEC announced the victory of All Progressives Congress candidate, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, who secured 8,794,726 votes. The Peoples Democratic Party candidate, Atiku Abubakar, and the Labour Party candidate, Peter Obi, contested the results, alleging violence and widespread rigging during separate press conferences. Consequently, both candidates pursued redress through the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal.Osuntokun stated that the evidence presented by the PDP and LP supported their initial suspicions of election irregularities. He demanded punitive measures against Festus Okoye, the INEC National Commissioner and Chairman of the Information and Voter Education Committee, as well as other high-ranking administrative and field staff, whom he accused of complicity. Osuntokun also cautioned against further intimidation of the European Union and other election observers based on their reports.Expressing dissatisfaction with the response from the spokesperson of the APC administration and others regarding the EU and other observers’ reports, Osuntokun criticized the inconsistency and selective celebration exhibited, particularly in contrast to the reception of the 2019 election reports from the same observer groups. He urged the international community to take appropriate punitive action against Prof Mahmood Yakubu, Barrister Festus Okoye, and other INEC personnel implicated in the alleged electoral malpractice.Osuntokun concluded by highlighting the alignment between the EU Observer group report and the findings of other international and domestic observers accredited by INEC, as well as the general sentiment among Nigerians who participated in or observed the 2023 general elections. He underscored the expectation for the judiciary to thoroughly evaluate the evidence, legal framework, and electoral processes to deliver a verdict that is both legally sound and widely accepted by the Nigerian populace and the international community.