The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says 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.
In a statement on Tuesday, Festus Okoye, INEC’s national commissioner for information and voter education, said the commission deliberated on a range of issues concerning the governorship election which is slated for September 19.
INEC said following the meeting, the conduct of party primaries, including resolution of disputes, will end on June 27, 2020.
It added that the submission of 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.
On court orders, the commission said the spate of pre-election litigations and conflicting orders emanating from such can affect the smooth conduct of primaries and the upcoming election.
“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,” Okoye said.
“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.”
It 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.
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.
It said, 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.
The APC has been embroiled in a leadership crisis following the appeal court ruling that upheld the suspension of Adams Oshiomhole as national chairman of the party.
While the party announced Abiola Ajimobi, former Oyo governor, as acting chairman, Giadom declared himself as national chairman and also reversed the disqualification of Godwin Obaseki, governor of Edo, from the gubernatorial primary election.
But the national working committee of the APC overruled him and appointed Hilliard Eta, vice chairman of the party (south-south), to stand in for Ajimobi who was “unavoidably absent”.
A high court of the federal capital territory (FCT) reaffirmed Giadom as the acting national chairman of the APC but another high court in Rivers state restrained him from parading himself as such.
As part of measures to resolve the crisis, President Muhammadu Buhari has held meetings with some governors and Senate President Ahmad Lawan.