INEC expresses concern over spate of court orders on Bayelsa, Imo, Kogi polls

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has expressed concern over a spate of judgments and orders from courts on the November 11 governorship election in Bayelsa, Imo and Kogi.

INEC chairman Mahmood Yakubu spoke on Tuesday in Abuja at the commission’s quarterly meeting with leaders of political parties on the governorship election.

Mr Yakubu said that such orders could affect election costs and pose a challenge to the electoral management process.

“On the issue of candidature, the commission is concerned about the spate of recent judgments and orders of the court in respect of the nomination, substitution or disqualification of candidates after all the sensitive materials have been printed.

“The reprinting of the materials in compliance with court orders within a short period of time is not only expensive but the management of the process very challenging,” said Mr Yakubu. 

The INEC boss said the commission was compelled to review the final list of candidates after it was already published. 

“These changes have been reflected in the updated list of parties and candidates on our website. However, this decision is without prejudice to any pending appeal by the affected candidates or their political parties,’’ he said.

The INEC chairman also expressed concern over the violence involving parties and candidates in the three states.

He also advised political parties to consider the submission of agents’ names as important as the nomination of candidates for election.

Mr Yakubu said that not all the political parties had nominated agents for all the polling units and even the collation centres in the three states.

He also said INEC had delivered all non-sensitive materials for the elections to the three states, adding that the training of various categories of ad hoc staff was ongoing.

In his remarks, the IPAC chairman, Mr Sani Yabagi, urged INEC to use the November governorship election to deal with the issue of confidence deficit among the citizenry.

He said the 2023 general election presented Nigeria with numerous challenges and controversies, leading to enormous challenges in the electoral processes.


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