A civil society organization, United Front for Democracy,UFD has said that the Social Democratic party (SDP) has not filed any petition against All Progressive Congress, (APC) and it’s candidate who won the November 11 governership election Alhaji Ahmed Usman Ododo.
The organization also accused SDP of trying to smuggle in the petition through the back door against the 21 days window allowed by the electoral laws as amended.
Addressing a press conference on Monday in Lokoja, the convener of United front for Democracy UFD, Barrister Yetunde Olubunmi Suaubu said that the organization is speaking out due to it’s commitment to protect democratic values and ensure that the judiciary is not slaughtered on the slab of political desperation and corruption.
“Our organisation has credible intelligence that the candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) is yet to file his petition against the winner of the election, Alh. Ahmed Usman Ododo , 22 days after the declaration of results. The results of the election were declared on Sunday, 12th November, 2023.
The 21 days window elapsed at the midnight of December 3, 2023. Section 134 of the Electoral Act is very clear as to when an electoral petition can be filed with all allegations and evidence relating to the petition front-loaded. By virtue of Section 134 of the Electoral Act, the SDP has failed to file their petition within the period allowed by Law and should therefore be made not to waste the time of the Honourable Panel.
“Inasmuch as we would want to leave the determination of the validity of a petition filed out of time to the Honourable Panel to determine, we owe the populace a social and legal responsibility to expose a clandestine move by the SDP and its candidate to file their petition through the backdoor and backdate same to circumvent the provisions of the Electoral Act. Our very credible source revealed that the SDP and its candidate are still preparing their petition with the intention of filing same within the week and have it backdated so as to make it look like it was filed within the legally stipulated duration. This must not be allowed to happen in the spirit of justice, equity and fairness.
She said that “The wisdom of the Electoral Act is that anyone with credible evidence should be able to put such forward within the legally stipulated period. We are however disappointed that the SDP is about to lose the opportunity to test the law with a competent petition. The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and the African Democratic Congress (ADC) opted to avoid the embarrassment of searching in futility for evidence by deciding not to challenge the election at the tribunal.
She however expressed disappointment that the SDP is about to lose the opportunity to test the law with a competent petition especially when People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and the African Democratic Congress (ADC) opted to avoid the embarrassment of searching in futility for evidence by deciding not to challenge the election at the tribunal.