The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has disclosed that it is presently facing over 600 cases in several courts across the federation ahead of the 2023 general elections.
The electoral body said most of the pending cases bordered on the conduct of party primaries.
Chairman of the Commission, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, disclosed this on Monday at a capacity building workshop for over 300 judges that will handle disputes that will arise from the forthcoming elections.
Prof. Yakubu lamented that it was unhealthy for the commission to be battling with pre-election matters, at a time it ought to be concerned with full-blown preparation for the necessary logistics for the conduct of the impending polls.
“Infact, just recently, one political party served over 70 court processes on the Commission, seeking to compel it to accept list of candidates, long after the time for nomination of candidates had elapsed.
Regardless, Yakubu expressed the resolve of the commission to comply with orders of court in strict adherence to judicial precedents.
“Strict adherence to the principle of stare-decisis (precedent) is critical for us as election management body.
“A situation where a trial court tries to vary the decision of the Supreme Court, puts the Commission in a very difficult situation.
“The job of politicians is to be purely partisan, but our job as INEC and the Judiciary requires absolute neutrality, may God help us”, he added.
The INEC boss spoke as the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, warned judicial officers to shun actions that could bring disrepute to the judiciary as an institution.
Justice Ariwoola who administered the oath of office on 307 judicial officers that will sit on 2023 election petition cases, he will not condone any act of recklessness or abuse of power from any of you.
The CJN equally launched a Judicial Electoral Manual (JEM) that will guide the tribunal members in the adjudication of disputes that may arise from the 2023 general elections.