Sue Candidates With False Credentials, INEC Head Tells Nigerians

Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has instructed 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) for Kogi State in Abuja, yesterday. Longpet is from Plateau State.

Reporting 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 plea to all Nigerians (citizens and aspirants) to seize the opportunity to evaluate the particulars of candidates and seek a judicial solution for any observed violation of the law, as provided in Section 29 of the Electoral Act 2022.

“Already, the commission has been saturated 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 problems, 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 offense by strictly enforcing provisions of the law and extant regulations and guidelines.

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