By Milcah Tanimu
The Social Democratic Party (SDP) and its governorship candidate in the November 11, 2023, election in Kogi State have called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to ignore the protest by the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Kogi State government to halt the inspection of materials used in the poll.
SDP dismissed the request by APC and Kogi for the cancellation of the inspection, stating that such a request cannot supersede the court order for the examination of election materials. The party, through its Governorship Campaign Council Spokesperson, Faruk Adejoh-Audu, emphasized that the request was baseless in light of the existing court order.
APC, represented by the Kogi State Commissioner for Information, Kingsley Fanwo, had urged INEC to stop SDP’s legal team from further inspecting the materials, claiming that it would give undue advantage to the opposition party in the ongoing legal battle.
SDP, in its statement, characterized APC and Kogi’s call as a desperate attempt to hinder the petition from being heard within the statutory 180 days lifespan. The party alleged that the Kogi State government had previously orchestrated similar efforts, even deploying political thugs in SDP’s T-shirts to advocate for the cancellation of the court-ordered inspection exercise.
SDP further claimed that, due to the orchestrated attacks and concerns of tampering, materials used for state elections had to be moved to Abuja to safeguard them from destruction. Despite the challenges, SDP affirmed its commitment to pursuing the petition within the statutory time frame and called on Kogi State agents to submit themselves to judicial review. The party emphasized that deploying tactics to delay the process or spreading falsehoods would not deter its pursuit of justice.