INEC says conflicting court orders can harm conduct of Edo polls

By our reporter| The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Tuesday said the spate of pre-election litigations, as well as conflicting court orders, can disrupt the smooth conduct of primaries and the forthcoming governorship election in Edo state.

INEC’s national commissioner for information and voter education, Festus Okoye, who made the disclosure in statement, said the commission deliberated on a range of issues concerning the governorship election which is slated for September 19.

According to Okoye, the meeting concluded that the conduct of party primaries, including resolution of disputes, will end on June 27, 2020 while the list of candidates the parties propose to present at the election and affidavits of validly nominated candidates will close at 6pm on June 29, 2020.

The commission further stated that the spate of pre-election litigations and conflicting orders emanating from such can affect the smooth conduct of primaries and the upcoming election.

The statement read, “In view of this and as part of its commitment to deepen the use of technology in elections, the commission will conduct a training programme for Liaison Officers nominated by all the registered Political Parties on the use of the INEC Portal for uploading nomination forms of candidates.”

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“The training will take place at the Conference Hall of the Commission on Thursday 26th and Friday 27th June 2020 in two batches, to allow for physical distancing in line with the COVID-19 protocols.

“Political Parties should note that the organisation and scheduling of various activities and processes leading to the conduct of elections are complex and involve extensive and careful planning and any disruption of these processes comes at a huge cost to the nation.

“The spate and tenor of pre-election litigations and the conflicting orders emanating therefrom can harm the smooth conduct of primaries and the upcoming elections.”

The statement further added that the commission is closely monitoring cases arising from the administration of political parties, conduct of primaries, and nomination of candidates and restated INEC’s commitment to obey all orders and judgements in accordance with the rule of law.

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INEC said it has also considered the report from the meeting of the inter-agency consultative committee on election security (ICCES), which recently approved a code of conduct and rules of engagement for security officials on electoral duty.

According to INEC, the code, signed by the chairman of INEC, the national security adviser (NSA) as co-chairman of ICCES and the inspector-general of police (IGP), will be uploaded on the websites of INEC, the office of the NSA and the Nigeria police force on June 25, 2020.

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