The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, on Tuesday, has said it would obey court orders on party primaries for both the Edo and the Ondo governorship elections.
There have been various court orders and counter-orders regarding the governorship primary in both the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Edo State.
INEC in a press statement on Tuesday said the spate and tenor of pre-election and conflicting orders can harm the smooth conduct of primaries and the upcoming elections.
The statement was issued by the INEC spokesperson, Festus Okoye.
“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,” Mr Okoye said.
INEC is monitoring the situation, he said.
See below for the press release from INEC:
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) met today, the 23rd June 2020 and deliberated on a range of issues including the ongoing conduct of Party Primaries relating to the Edo Governorship election slated for the 19th September 2020, the Court Orders emanating from the administration of political parties and conduct of the primaries, as well as the Code of Conduct and Rules of Engagement for Security Officials on Electoral Duty.
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 6pm on Monday 29th June 2020.
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. 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 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.
Code of Conduct and Rules of Engagement for Security Officials on Electoral Duty
The Commission 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. The Code is signed by the Chairman of INEC, the National Security Adviser (NSA) as Co-Chairman of ICCES and the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) as head of the lead agency in election security.
The said Code will be uploaded on the websites of the Commission, the Office of the NSA and the Nigeria Police Force on Thursday 25th June 2020.
Festus Okoye Esq.
National Commissioner and Chairman,
Information and Voter Education Committee
23rd June 2020.