The National Publicity Secretary of the Labour Party (LP), Obiora Ifog, has alleged a plan to frustrate its candidate, Amobi Ogah’s (LP-Abia) case at the Court of Appeal sitting in Lagos.
Mr Ifog said in an open letter addressed to the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mahmood Yakubu, by the leadership of the party on Friday in Abuja.
He said Mr Ogah of Labour contested and won with a large margin, the Federal House of Representatives seat for Isikwuato/Umunneochi Federal Constituency of Abia.
He said his victory was annulled at the election Tribunal, hence the resolve to approach the Appellate Court.
He said, “what played out on Oct. 19th was unbelievable, hence we call on you to nip the development in the bud to avoid a messy situation.
“INEC had engaged a Senior Counsel, J.O. Asoluka (SAN), as its lawyers with a letter of authorisation to represent the commission.
“But at the commencement of the hearing at the Appeal Court, another lawyer surfaced with another letter of authority to take over the case of the self same INEC.”
This, according to him, is without prior notice to J.O Asoluka (SAN), that the new counsel had been engaged.
He said the commission also did not see any need to inform the plaintiff of the development as required by law.
“When the matter came up, a squabble ensued between the two counsels as to who had the authority of INEC to represent it in the case.”
He said it had dawned on the Labour Party that the change of legal guard without properly notifying the interested parties was carefully orchestrated.
According to him, we are raising this alarm because time is of essence, even though the collaborators achieved their intentions as the appeal could not be heard and was adjourned.
This, he said, was to enable INEC put its house in order and determine who of the two counsels had her authority to represent her in the appeal.
He said, we are therefore, using this platform to urge you to investigate the inglorious roles which the legal department of the commission was playing and sanction erring officials.
He said the role of INEC in the matter was to defend the outcome of the election which it conducted and on which it declared Mr Ogah as the duly-elected candidate
He urged the commission to reject any semblance of compromise, adding that a few members should not be allowed to taint the integrity of the commission.