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Action Alliance To Petition AGF, Protest Over Alleged Failure Of INEC To Recognise Its Candidates

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From left, National Secretary of Action Alliance, Amb. Suleiman Abdulrasheed; the National Chairman, Dr Adekunle Rufai Omo-Aje; and the Presidential Candidate of the party, Solomon-David Okanigbuan, during the birthday celebration of Dr Omo-Aje Sunday evening by the party members in Abuja.

The Action Alliance (AA), led by the Adekunle Omo-Aje is set to petition to the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami, SAN, over alleged failure of INEC to recognise its candidates for the 2023 general elections despite valid court orders.

Omo-Aje, the National Chairman of AA, also said that foreign embassies would be petitioned over INEC’s refusal to obey court judgments.

The AA chairman, who spoke at a programme in Abuja called on President Muhammadu Buhari to call INEC, under the leadership of Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, to order.

“By next week, we are planning to stage a very massive protest to the National Assembly.

“Our lawyers are working on letters to all the embassies and organisations that partner with INEC.

“This next week, we will write the Attorney-General of the Federation first for his intervention.

“We are also calling on President Muhammadu Buhari, because of the good legacy he has already laid by signing the Electoral (Amendment) Bill into law, to please call Prof. Mahmood Yakubu to have respect for the judiciary.

“We don’t want Prof. Mahmood Yakubu to spoil this feat.

“He (Yakubu) is only performing his role as INEC boss but he cannot act the role of the judiciary.

“He should respect the rule of law,” he said.

Omo-Aje also said the failure of INEC to invite him to the recent meeting it had with political parties’ chairmen but invited Mr Kenneth Udeze, the sacked AA chairman, instead, was lawless.

He assured all party’s candidates and supporters of getting justice.

“This is not a Banana Republic, whether Prof. Mahmood Yakubu likes it or not, there is a court judgment that ordered that I should be given a pin code to upload all our candidates.

“If he likes, he can hold it until election day, we will still meet at tribunal.

“I know that if he didn’t respect court judgment, definitely, 2023 Election is in trouble.

“We don’t have power to stop election not to be held at the appointed date, but we have a day in the tribunal where that election will be nullified.

“Prof. Yakubu has set up a booby trap for all those political parties going up and down campaigning because that election will be nullified and we will start all over again without our candidates,” he said.

Also speaking, the Presidential Candidate of AA, Mr Solomon-David Okanigbuan, said though INEC had refused to recognise his candidacy, that had not stopped his underground campaign.

He reminded that the Electoral Act, 2022, had a provision which talked about cancellation of election where there was omission of name of candidate who was supposed to participate in the process.

“There is room for that in the Electoral Act. So my advice to INEC is to quickly do the needful so that this does not jeopardise all its plans and activities that they put in place for the election.

“Prof Yakubu shouldn’t skip any part of the Electoral Act,” he said

Okanigbuan, who described the court as “a supreme body” where justice can be gotten, said: “the court has given judgment that Kenneth Udeze has been expelled since 2020.

“There are even court judgments that affirmed his (Udeze’s) expulsion; that he is not even a member of the party, let alone, parading himself as national chairman of the party, how much more bringing in candidates for elections.”

He urged all his supporters to keep the flag flying.

“We are still in the race; we are not backing out. We believe we will still be the party to win.

“So they should still hold on to our vision for us to make Nigeria better. I believe this is our time to win,” he said.

Okanigbuan, however, commended INEC on the ongoing exercise for the collection of Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs).

“Yes, to some extent, it is a welcomed development because so many of our members and followers, majority of them told me they have collected already.

“So it is a good process but they can still extend it a little for some days for others to collect,” he said.

It would be recalled that at a national congress held by AA in Abuja, Mr Okanigbuan emerged the party’s presidential candidate, among others.

But Major Hamza Al-Mustapha (rtd.), the former aide to late Gen. Sani Abacha, also won the presidential primary election conducted by the Udeze-led faction on June 9 in Abuja.

The electoral umpire had recognised all the candidates presented to it by the Udeze-led faction.

The Federal High Court, Abuja, had, among other court judgments, ordered INEC to accept and publish all candidates sent to it by the leadership of Omo-Aje of AA.

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