Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has urged Nigerians to file lawsuits against candidates who submit false certificates to the electoral body.
This came as the commission disclosed that 334 pre-election cases from congresses and primaries of political parties were being tackled.
INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, made this known during the swearing-in ceremony of Dr. Hale Longpet as Resident Electoral Commission (REC) in Abuja, yesterday.
Yakubu said Longpet, who is from Plateau State, has been deployed as REC for Kogi State.
Noting that the commission has raised the bar for credible elections very high, Yakubu urged the new commissioner to “join us in raising the bar even higher.”
He said the commission would, today, publish personal particulars of candidates nominated by their political parties for governorship and state Assembly elections in constituencies nationwide as required by law.
He added that with the publication of the particulars, the commission expects the number of cases to rise higher.
He said: “I appeal to all Nigerians (citizens and aspirants) to seize the opportunity to scrutinise the particulars of candidates and seek judicial remedy for any observed violation of the law, as provided in Section 29 of the Electoral Act 2022.
“Already, the commission has been inundated with numerous pre-election cases arising from the conduct of congresses and primaries by political parties. So far, 334 pre-election cases have been filed in various divisions of the Federal High Court across the country by aspirants challenging the nomination of candidates or their exclusion from the list submitted to the commission.”
He said though these are purely intra-party issues, the commission had been joined in all the cases.
According to him, the issue of internal democracy in parties remains a sore point in the nation’s electoral process, adding that INEC would continue engagement while standing firm against any wrongdoing by strictly enforcing provisions of the law and extant regulations and guidelines.
By Fatima Abubakar