Bolaji Ogundele, Abuja
Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has fixed January 25, 2020, for the conduct of the 28 outstanding court-ordered rerun elections across in the country.
The commission announced this yesterday in Abuja in a statement by its National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye.
The statement said the election petition tribunals constituted to try cases that arose from the 2019 general elections received 807 post-election petitions, out of which 582 were dismissed and 183 withdrawn by the petitioners.
It explained that of the remaining 42 cases, 30 were decided for rerun and 12 ordered to give Certificates of Return.
Of the 30 rerun cases, two – Kogi West Senatorial District supplementary rerun election and Ajaokuta Federal Constituency – were conducted on November 30.
“There are, so far, 30 such court-ordered rerun and supplementary rerun elections. Two of these, namely, the rerun elections for the Ajaokuta Federal Constituency and the supplementary rerun election for the Kogi West Senatorial District, were conducted on November 30, 2019.
“Consequently, there are 28 court-ordered elections still outstanding, which are distributed across 12 states of the federation. The breakdown comprises one senatorial district out of 109; 12 Federal constituencies out of 360 and 15 State Assembly constituencies out of 991.
“In many of the cases, elections are to be rerun in only a few polling units. The commission will make available further details of the affected areas, including the polling units on its website in due course.
“After consideration of several issues surrounding the rerun elections, including the time needed for preparations, establishing the full details of the affected areas from court judgments as well as the intervention of the Yuletide, the commission has decided to hold all the 28 outstanding court-ordered rerun elections on Saturday, January 25, 2020. Further details of various activities and timelines will be published later.”
“It is important to note that arising from the 2019 general election, a total of 807 post-election petitions were filed at various tribunals. Out of this figure, 582 were dismissed, while 183 were withdrawn by the petitioners. Out of the remaining 42, the tribunals ordered reruns in 30 and issuance of certificates of return in 12 cases.
“The commission wishes to assure Nigerians that it is doing everything within its control to ensure that elections are free, fair and credible. We will continue to ask for the understanding, support and commitment of all stakeholders and agencies involved in elections to achieve this purpose,” the statement said.