The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has decried the pre-election litigations and conflicting court orders after the primaries for the November 6 Anambra State governorship election, saying they have the tendency of affecting the conduct of the exercise.
The electoral commission observed that some of the orders have “the tendency of eroding the powers of the Commission and compromising its independence, powers and timelines for the conduct of the upcoming election.
Speaking on Tuesday, at the implementation meeting of the Voter Education and Publicity Department for the Anambra poll held in Awka, Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, INEC, Festus Okoye, called on the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), and Chief Justice of Nigeria to wade into the matter.
Okoye said the commission often complains about the frequency with which courts issued orders, explaining that they could have “far-reaching implications on the conduct of the Anambra state governorship election”, noting that it was becoming increasingly difficult to obey the Court Orders and judgements.
There has been a spate of ex parte orders secured by political gladiators ahead of the election.
Okoye said, “Some of the orders have the tendency of eroding the powers of the Commission and compromising its independence, powers and timelines for the conduct of the upcoming election.
“Unfortunately, some of the judgements and orders given especially on the primary elections in Anambra state have bypassed our portal and sought to restore the manual submission of the List and Personal Particulars of candidates.”
He, therefore, called on NBA’s leadership to intervene as such practice must not get to 2023.
“The leadership of the bar association and the leadership of the judiciary must wade into this descent to forum shopping and the multiplicity of orders and judgements from courts of coordinate jurisdiction. This is urgent; it is imperative and cannot be carried over to 2023 general election,” he added.
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