The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has fixed January 25, 2020, for the conduct of all 28 outstanding court-ordered rerun elections across 12 states.
A statement signed by National Commissioner and Chairman Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, after the commission’s 51st regular meeting in Abuja, said it will release further details on its website in due course.
The commission, however, reassured that it would do everything within its control to ensure elections are free, fair and credible.
It noted that arising from the 2019 general election, 807 post-election petitions were filed at various tribunals, explaining that out of the figure, 582 were dismissed, while 183 were withdrawn by the petitioners.
“There are 28 court-ordered elections still outstanding which are distributed across 12 states of the federation. The break down comprises one senatorial district out of 109, 12 federal constituencies out of 360 and 15 state Assembly constituencies out of 991…,” INEC said.
Meanwhile, National Chairman of the opposition African Democratic Congress (ADC), Ralphs Okey Nwosu, has expressed dissatisfaction with the manner INEC conducted the 2019 general elections and the subsequent governorship elections in Kogi and Bayelsa states.
He said the outcome fell short of public expectation and accused the electoral umpire of deliberate connivance with one of the leading political parties to subvert the democratic system.
Nwosu spoke yesterday during a visit of the officials of INEC who came on a mandatory verification exercise at the ADC national secretariat in Abuja. The ADC chairman who was angry at the turn out of the recent elections, however challenged the leadership of INEC to “search their conscience” on whether the Commission has actually delivered on its mandate of election conduct to the satisfaction of the electorates as expected of it.
He pointed out that INEC “is one of the well-funded Agencies in Nigeria. The government is usually well supported by the national Assembly to give priority to INEC’s financial and other needs. In addition, foreign governments and NGOs support the body with election management protocols, capacity building and human development.
“All these are to ensure best outcome for INEC’s works. But rather than good outcome, I want the men and women running INEC to search their conscience. Unfortunately, the entire Nigeria democratic ecosystem looks more like a criminal enterprise.”
The ADC boss argued that in a more reliable election outcome, his party which he claimed was one of the most popular political party platforms in Nigeria, should have “produced a minimum of three governors, 12 senators and 72 House of Representatives members and 178 members of Houses of Assembly of various states.”
“Rather than this scenario, the current election conduct system aided the parties in power, cash-and-carry politicians and warlords and the incumbent governments to rob our candidates and our model party. But we remain undaunted.
“Our House of Representatives members and their states Assembly counterparts remain the authentic voice of Nigerians in representing their constituencies and our great party. They will continue to project the alternative voice without fear.”
In his own reaction, ADC presidential candidate in the 2019 poll and former deputy governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Dr Obadia Mailafia, lamented what he described as the impunity and killings attended the election process.
Responding, INEC verification team led by an Assistant Director in the Commission, Nkechi Abu, assured the party that their concern will be looked into by the leadership of the Commission with a view to addressing them.