The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Thursday expressed concerns over the increasing litigations ahead of the September 19 governorship election in Edo State and urged the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) and the judiciary to be above board in the discharge of their duties.
The INEC’s National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, made the call in a statement issued at the end of the commission’s meeting in Abuja.
“The commission is worried about the spate and rapidity of conflicting court orders mostly obtained through ex-parte application involving substantially the same parties, on the same or similar grounds and from courts of coordinate jurisdiction on issues and challenges around the administration of political parties and conduct of party primaries.
“Some of the orders were obtained from courts completely removed from the geographical area where the course of action arose.
“The commission is committed to obeying all court orders, but the speed, frequency and conflicting nature of the orders leave it in an awkward and impossible position.
“We urge the Nigerian Bar Association to impress on senior members of the Bar to put the country’s interest and the judiciary above every other interest and not allow personal considerations to outweigh their commitment to the profession, the rule of law and due process. It is in the best interest of the Bar and the Bench not to do anything that would bring them into disrepute.
“These calls have become necessary to draw attention to the uncertainties and threats posed by conflicting orders on not only preparations for elections and but also to the growth and development of our democracy.”
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