So, this is INEC’s ‘masterplan’ for free and fair elections


The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, is to propose amendments to its guidelines to stem the spate of inconclusive elections through removing the eight million uncollected Permanent Voter Cards from its assessment of elections in the country.

Speaking to newsmen, weekend, INEC chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, also denied claims that it had received legal advice from the Attorney General of the Federation on legal knots that followed the inconclusive governorship election in Kogi State and the judicial tango that followed the court judgment on Abia State governorship election.

Yakubu, who was flanked by a national commissioner, Prince Adedeji Soyebi, and Director of Voter Education and Publicity, Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi, also disclosed that the commission had, under his watch, conducted 137 re-run elections flowing from the 680 court cases filed against the commission after the 2015 elections.

Yakubu also lamented the avalanche of litigations facing the commission, and in an apparent reference to the ongoing crisis in the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, noted that the party had in the last three months been faced with 11 court orders from courts of coordinate jurisdiction, many of which were contradictory.

Noting concerns that the use of total number of registered voters against the use of total number of PVCs collected widened the base for the assessment of elections, Prof. Yakubu said: “It is true that only those who have collected the PVCs can vote, but our guidelines formulated on the Electoral Act only talk about the total number of registered voters in a constituency.

“It is in the guidelines, and we can amend the guidelines. But we cannot amend the guidelines in the middle of an election so that nobody will accuse me of changing the goal post during the election.

“Maybe after we dispose off, particularly these re-run elections, there will be an opportunity in full consultation with the stakeholders to revisit those guidelines.”

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