The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said it haswithdrawn and re-issued over 70 certificates of return, after the 2019 general election.
INEC National Commissioner, Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, said this at an electoral reform round-table organised by the Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room and the Kofi Annan Foundation, in Abuja, yesterday.
Okoye said one of the biggest challenges facing the Commission is the large number of pre-election matters that are still pending in various courts of law.
“As at today (yesterday), the commission has a total of 809 pre-election matters while we have just 800 post-election matters. So, the implication is that we have more pre-election matters than post-election.
“As at Tuesday, the Commission has withdrawn and re-issued over 70 certificates of return that were previously issued to those who were elected into the various states and National Assembly positions.
“There are more that we are still withdrawing and more that we are still re-issuing.
“Some of these things arose from the not-too transparent party primary elections that were conducted by the various political parties.It is really a source of concern that, up till today, there are still a number of cases arising from pre-election matters in courts,’’he added.
Okoye said one of the things the Commission is looking at is whether the Fourth Alteration to the 1999 Constitution would properly address the issue of pre-election matters.
He said this is because the Fourth Alteration gave the court of first instance a total of 180 days within which to determine cases and issues arising from pre-election matters.
“But, 180 days from the period of the conduct of party primary elections and the end of substitution period dovetailed into the conduct of elections and even beyond.
“This more or less distorts the Commission’s activities and also puts it on edge in terms of knowing which political parties would be on the ballot and which would not,” he said.