The inter – party advisory council ( IPAC) has raised the alarm over alleged plots by a serving minister to procure an exparte order to stop the senate screening of Professor Mahmoud Yakubu as chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission ( INEC).
Subsequently, IPAC petitioned President Muhammadu Buhari and Chief Justice of the federal high court as according to them it was a move to destabilize the electoral process and embarrass the president.
They also called on the Senate to save the country and all its institutions these present plots of desecration by speedily reconvening to consider, screen and confirm the nominee, Prof Yakubu.
President, IPAC, Dr. Leonard Nzenwa in a press statement in Abuja said that time when patriots must jettison political party differences and stand for Nigeria.
He said “We have uncovered a deadly plot to procure a midnight court order to destabilize the electoral stability of the country and throw the electoral body into leadership vacuum and challenges.
“This plot is being secretly spearheaded by those who parade as loyalists of Mr. President in the day time but wear a treacherous dress to undo the President and sabotage his agenda in pursuit of a desperate ambition to be president and governor.
“On 18th November, 2020 two hired hands purportedly filed a matter in the Federal High Court aimed at stopping the Senate from screening the nominee and nullifying the appointment made by the President citing that until the Police completes an imaginary criminal investigation, the screening should not take place.
“This would seem normal to the ordinary eyes but we have intercepted very credible intelligence that this matter is not ordinary.
“We have confirmed that the matter was filed, processed, assigned and dispatched to the judge on the same 18th day of November, 2020 that it was filed. These are processes that ordinarily take 2 weeks to complete. How fast our justice system now moves.
As a body, he pointed out that IPAC was approached by persons within the government who wanted to sabotage the nomination in preference for another they believed would favour their ambitions.
He stated “Those who approached us are those who claim to be Buhari in the day but obviously undermine him in the night. We refused because the stability of the electoral process and ongoing reforms by Prof. Yakubu are very promising and when fully implemented hold the key to unlocking our nations electoral challenges
“Our intelligence includes that at least two Federal Ministers, one from the South South with a Presidential ambition and who believes that because of the strategic roles he played in both election victories of President Muhammadu Buhari, that the presidential ticket of the ruling party should be ceded to him and the other from the North West with a Governorship ambition are jointly working to use the judiciary to derail our electoral process and hijack the electoral commission.
“These Ministers who are ordinarily close to President Buhari are working on the premise that when the Court stops the screening of Prof Yakubu, they will approach the President with the hope of having another chance to influence their choice of the preferred candidate to emerge as the Chairman.
“These elements and their backers want confusion and crisis to engulf our electoral space. We as the body of all registered political parties have unanimously accepted this nomination and agreed to a speedy screening and nothing can change that.
IPAC called on the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court to personally investigate the processes filed in this case, the circumstances of the lightning speed processing and assignment of this case within minutes and order the transfer of this matter to any other judge of the Federal High Court as the events following the filing showed that the suit was guided to its present destination.
They sternly advice these ministers and the couple of governors who are being alleged to be secretly working to undo the president’s nomination which was ratified by the Council of State while taking advantage of their closeness to the President that if all these allegations are true, to back down immediately as a mark of respect to the President now the plot has been exposed and the quest for Nigerians to have an improved and reformed electoral space.
According to them, these distractions are capable of casting a doubt as to the impartiality and credibility of the 2023 general election.
“This evil plot to hijack the Election Management Body prior to a general election is novel in our political atmosphere. We must not let this to happen.
“The President has made a nomination which has enjoyed widespread applause both locally and internationally and the best we all can do is to give support and not let the undertakers to have a job to do,” he added .