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The New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) on Sunday accused INEC of undue interference and taking sides in the party’s internal leadership crisis

The party also advised INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmud Yakubu to look into alleged attendance of it’s splinter group convention by the commission’s staff, even when they were served with court notice challenging the illegal convention

In a statement signed by the NNPP National Secretary, Comrade Oginni Olaposi Sunday ,
the party insisted that INEC chairman must fish out the colluding staff and ensure he or she is punished.

It noted that INEC must remain neutral in the NNPP internal crisis as required by law.

“Without prejudice to the integrity, honour and leadership of the INEC chairman, we are using this medium to remind him that the successes and otherwise of electoral processes in Nigeria largely depend on the level of quality leadership of the commission under his watch.

“It is trite to note that INEC as a commission has the mandate to regulate and control electoral processes in Nigeria in accordance with the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Electoral Guidelines.

“This shall be without prejudice to the partial autonomy and independence of political parties to regulate and control themselves in accordance with the party constitution.”

The NNPP pointed out that the courts including the Supreme Court of Nigeria had made several pronouncements in relation to the liberty and authority of political parties on matters of self regulation and control of its affairs , administration and management.

“One begins to wonder why INEC as a commission, other than being neutral is found to be the contrary and taking sides over an internal matter of NNPP.

“And for the records, the federal high courts seated at Awka in Anambra state and Abuja have said that the crisis in NNPP should be resolved internally by members.

“We regret to note that Sen. Rabiu Kwankwaso Senator and others expelled from our party have been deceiving the general public that the NNPP under the leadership of Major Gilbert Agbo lost in the various cases.

“One begins to wonder how the pronouncements of the courts that NNPP leadership crisis is an internal matter of the party translate to loss?

“The Federal High Court have jurisdiction over the party constitution to give direction. We have approached the Court of Appeal in that regard to demand for a clear statement as to how the internal crisis can be resolved and who does it.”

According to it, under the constitution of the NNPP, it is the mandate and responsibility of the Founder and Members of the Board as the conscience of the party, to take responsibility and resolve the internal crisis .

“The court has to say so to add impetus and the force of the law to it to enable resolutions. Regret that Federal High Courts were not able to do so in the various judgments.

“On the part of INEC as a regulator, it shall be an oversight function to deploy alternative dispute resolution especially, when the matter is brought before it formally.

“Other than that, INEC is found attending and observing an illegal convention of the expelled members. INEC again should have the courage to respond to the letter of the Founder and Members of the Board to facilitate and order the board to take responsibility in resolving the internal crisis.

“And for the avoidance doubts, it is on record that Kwankwaso and his splinter group and INEC were duly served with court notices against the illegal convention and yet it held and INEC erroneously attended.

“However, we are meant to understand that most times, the chairman of INEC may be shielded from facts of issues and sectional heads tend to do things on their own without the knowledge of the chairman.

“We shall therefore advise the chairman INEC to step up his supervisory role in the management and administration of the commission’s statutory responsibilities and know when to evoke his residual powers to act.”

The party, therefore, appealed to Yakubu to attend to the letters written to him by the Board of Trustees of NNPP, requesting that while the cases are ongoing in the courts the life of NNPP should be preserved in the hands of the Board.

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