Edo poll: INEC worried over conflicting court orders, litigations

• Sets Monday deadline for parties to submit names of candidates

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has expressed worry at the spate of litigations, conflicting court orders ahead of the Edo State governorship poll, warning that such was harmful to the smooth conduct of primaries and the September 19 poll at large.

Though INEC noted that disruptions of scheduled election activities and processes were at a huge cost to the nation, the commission, however, maintained that it will continue to comply with orders and judgments from properly constituted courts.

INEC’s position was contained in a statement issued by National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee Mr Festus Okoye, after the commission’s meeting held on Tuesday.

Among other decisions reached at the meeting was a mandate for all parties to conduct their primaries, resolve all attendant disputes by Saturday and submit the list of their validly nominated candidates by next Monday.

“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 Commission is closely monitoring the cases arising from the administration of political parties, the conduct of primaries and nomination of candidates.

“This notwithstanding, the Commission restates its avowed commitment to continue to obey all orders and judgements from properly constituted courts in accordance with the rule of law.

“The Commission notes that the conduct of party primaries, including resolution of disputes arising therefrom will end on Saturday, 27th June 2020, while the submission of the list of candidates the parties propose to sponsor at the election and affidavits of validly nominated candidates will close at 6 pm on Monday, 29th June 2020,” the statement read.

Meanwhile, the commission has said it will, on Thursday, upload on its website, the recently approved code of conduct and rules of engagement to guide security officials on electoral duty.

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