The Ohanaeze Youth Council, the apex Igbo youth organisation, has claimed politicians are inducing the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to ignore judgements ahead of the 2023 elections.
In a statement by Igboayaka O. Igboayaka, its national president, and Ifeanyi Nweke, its national secretary-general, the council lamented INEC’s refusal to recognise Edozie Njoku as the authentic National Chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) despite a court judgement.
It is understood that the Federal High Court and the Supreme Court had earlier upheld Njoku as APGA’s national chairman.
In the statement, Ohanaeze Youth Council called out Yakubu, Festus Okoye, and other staff members of INEC, accusing them of corrupt practices.
It also described Yakubu’s continued stay as INEC chairman as a time bomb.
The statement reads: “It is with the deepest sense of humility and modesty that we wish to call the attention of the discerning public that there are plans by some fifth columnists in INEC to ensure that 2023 General Elections do not hold.
“Unfortunately, this ignoble and shameful crusade is being led by Prof. Yakubu Mahmood, the Chairman of INEC.
“It is tragic that Mahmood Yakubu, Festus Okoye and some INEC staff have become referees putting on the Jersey of one of the clubs they are officiating their match, for pecuniary interest.
“We, the Ohanaeze Youth Council, as the apex Igbo Youth Organization worldwide are truly worried that INEC is yet to recognize Chief Edozie Njoku as the authentic National Chairman of APGA, after the Federal High Court and the Supreme Court had given Judgements in his favour.
“Let me say this without fear of equivocation. APGA is a thorough breed National Party; fortunately, APGA’s manifesto, mission and vision provide a roadmap for aggrieved people to converge and ventilate their minds rather than resort to agitation. Ozonkpu Victor Oye leadership desecrated APGA, this incensed major stakeholders in the Southeast and they threw their weight behind Edozie Njoku to ransom and redeem the Party. Instructively, this is what Mahmood and his gang are toying with.
“Pertinently, on April 6, 2022, in a subsisting Ruling delivered by Hon. Justice A.R. Mohammed of the Federal High Court Abuja Division in Suit No: FHC/BAU/CS/10/2020 in Motion No. FHC/BAU/M/41/2020 between Chief Edozie Njoku & Others Vs Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) & another; and the lead Judgment of the Supreme Court of Nigeria delivered by Hon. Justice Mary Ukaego Peter-Odili, JSC in Suit No: SC/CV/686/2021 between Jude Okeke Vs All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) & others declared Chief Edozie Njoku as the authentic National Chairman of APGA.
“Despite these Judgements, Mahmood and those he is working for have continued to play the ostrich for the past one month.
“Clearly, Section 287(1) and (3) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as altered, it is imperative that Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) obeys the aforesaid valid and subsisting Federal High Court Ruling and Supreme Court judgment; or face the full wrath of our people.
“Consequent upon the above, we have no doubt that Prof Yakubu Mahmood has compromised the principle and ethics governing global best practices in elections. Therefore, his continued stay as INEC Chairman is a time bomb.
“Furthermore, our investigation shows that Chief Oye and cohorts have induced Prof Yakubu Mahmood with financial inducement.
“We, therefore, call on EFCC, Director of State Services (DSS) and Inspector General of Police to immediately investigate the activities of Prof. Yakubu Mahmood before he drags the noble Commission to the mud.”