INEC to obey Court orders arising from conduct of primaries for Edo governorship election – Says Bar. Okonye

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By Joy Odor

Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC has restated its commitment to obey orders arising from the conduct of primaries for the Edo governorship election.

In statement released on behalf of the Commission, the National Commissioner and Chairman Voter Education and Publicity Committee, Bar. Festus Okoye urged political parties to strictly adhere to guidelines and schedule of activities in the conduct of their activities.

He stated 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.

Bar. Okonye said in view of this and as part of INEC’s 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 according to him, will take place at the Conference Hall of the Commission on Thursday 25th and Friday 26th June 2020 in two batches, to allow for physical distancing in line with the COVID-19 protocols.

On the court orders, INEC urged political parties to 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 National Commissioner added that, 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,” he said.

While in the same vein, INEC maintained that it has 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.

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