The New Nigeria’s People’s Party (NNPP) has hailed the judgment of the Federal High Court Abuja delivered by Justice Zainab Abubakar on Friday November 11, 2022, which ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to accept candidates submitted to replace earlier candidates who had withdrawn from the 2023 elections.
In a statement on Wednesday by National Publicity Secretary, Dr Agbo Major, NNPP commended the judiciary for its timely intervention in the electoral process and urged the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC to effect the change.
The statement said, “NNPP hails the judgment of the Federal High Court Abuja delivered by Justice Zainab Abubakar on Friday November 11, 2022, which ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to accept candidates submitted by the party to replace earlier candidates who had withdrawn from the contest provided that the party complied substantially with the provisions of the law.
“The court stated that INEC has no power to impose a candidate on the plaintiff (NNPP) nor can it stop any political party from replacing its candidates who have withdrawn from the contest not later than 90 days to the election, emphasizing that the commission’s timetable and schedule of activities for the 2023 general election is a subsidiary legislation pursuant to Section 148 of the Electoral Act 2022, and cannot supersede the substantive legislation, the Electoral Act 2022.
“Justice Zainab Abubakar held that any provision of the timetable and schedule of activities for the 2023 general election that is inconsistent with the Electoral Act 2022 is null, void and without effect whatsoever to the extent of that inconsistency.
“The legal fireworks in which NNPP was represented by its National Legal Adviser, Barr. Robert Hon and INEC by Tanimu M. Inuwa (SAN), Alhassan Umar (SAN) Abdullaziz Sani (SAN), Bello (SAN) leading 16 more lawyers came to an end Friday November 11, 2022, paving way for our great party to replace all its candidates who withdrew from various elective positions after their names had been submitted to INEC. Some mischievously left the party to frustrate its chances of winning the seats they abandoned.
“They include Senator Ibrahim Shekarau, the party nominated to contest the Kano Central senatorial district seat, a formidable NNPP’s stronghold in the State where its Presidential Candidate, His Excellency, Senator (Engr) Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, Ph.D (FNSE) came from and was a two term Governor, which he transformed to a modern State with impressive state of the art infrastructure and human development, an eloquent testimony of his progressive leadership, tenacity of purpose and political sagacity.
“Although Senator Shekarau’s political intrigue is well known, he joined our great party claiming to be a reformed democrat in search of a new Nigeria which only the NNPP can offer if voted into office in 2023.
“He was welcomed and offered the strategic Kano Central Senatorial District ticket, which he abandoned and joined another party with the fallacious assumption that NNPP would no longer field a candidate to replace him. Shekarau betrayed the confidence the party reposed in him and his co-travelers in political gymnastics.
“They include the party’s Yobe state deputy governorship candidate, Potiskum state constituency candidate also in Yobe State and Taraba South Senatorial District candidate. They will all be replaced in compliance with the order of the Federal High Court Abuja on Friday November 11, 2022.
“By the order of court, INEC will now replace Senator Ibrahim Shekarau with Rufai Sani Hanga as the NNPP candidate for Kano Central Senatorial District.This is democracy in action. INEC should comply immediately with this clear order of court and stop dissipating energy and resources in wide goose chase in flagrant violation of the Electoral Act 2022 which is in force for 2023 general election.
“This landmark judgment is sweet music in the ears of all lovers of democracy, due process and rule of law in Nigeria. It reinforces the party’s confidence in the Judiciary being the last hope of all aggrieved citizens. It further inspires our strong belief in a new Nigeria which only the New Nigeria People’s Party can usher in if voted into power in 2023.
“NNPP congratulates its candidates who won seats in the Niger States Local Government election last weekend despite malpractices that characterized the poll. It is a giant step forward to a new Nigeria of our dream.
“We urge Nigerians to collect their voters cards, vote for NNPP candidates on election days, protect their votes and ensure they are counted and count in the overall results. The will and mandate of the people must be respected in all elections as power resides in the people.
“As a grassroots political party, NNPP is already cruising to victory as demonstrated by the mammoth crowds that welcome the party’s Presidential Candidate in all the States of the Federation he visited and other party activities.
“It is obvious Nigerians desire and deserve a better society and a compassionate leader to redirect the ship of the nation to the path of rectitude, progress, development and advancement. Together, we will rebuild our nation and once again make Nigeria the great arsenal of democracy in Africa.