The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it will not engage the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in debate over petitions before the presidential election petition tribunal because they are “sub-judice.”
Festus Okoye, chairman, information and voter education committee of the commission, said this in a statement.
Okoye was responding to PDP’s allegation that INEC refused to release election materials used for the conduct of the February 23 presidential poll for inspection.
Kola Ologbondiyan, PDP spokesman, had said the continued refusal of INEC to release the electoral materials to the party and its legal team was “completely provocative, standing in the way of justice and working against the will of the people.”
The tribunal had ordered the electoral commission to release the materials to the opposition party after the party and Atiku Abubakar, its presidential candidate, filed petitions before it.
However, the national commissioner said INEC “is a Iaw-abiding institution and will continue to accord the requisite respect to judicial institutions and obey the orders of courts.”
“The commission is aware that very senior lawyers are representing the petitioners and the respondents in relation to the said petitions,” Okoye said.
“The commission is a law-abiding institution and will not argue or canvass in the media, petitions that are sub-judice, and where the presidential election petitions tribunal is firmly seized of the issues.
“The lawyers representing the petitioners are seized of the state of the law and the course to take if they truly believe that the commission is in disobedience of the orders of the presidential election petitions tribunal.”