‘INEC compiling, studying tribunal judgments’

THE Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Sunday said it is taking note and compiling the judgments at various election petitions tribunals.

But the commission said it would not be able to take action until after 21 days on the outcome of tribunal verdicts.

INEC’s National Commissioner and Chairman of Information and Voter Education Committee, Mr. Festus Okoye spoke in Abuja.

The spokesman said the law allows the commission to stay action for 21 days as the aggrieved party has that period to appeal.

The aggrieved candidate, he explained, is empowered to remain in office within the period.

Okoye, who was responding to inquiry from The Nation on some of the tribunals’ rulings, said: “The commission is harvesting, compiling and studying the judgments of the various tribunals across the country. Some of the tribunals nullified some elections and ordered reruns in some polling units, electoral wards and constituencies.

“Some of the tribunals gave the commission 30 to 90 days to comply with the judgments. However, Section 143 of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) obligates the commission to stay action for 21 days as the aggrieved party has 21 days within which to appeal. The aggrieved candidate remains in office within the period.

“The commission will, within the constitutional and electoral framework, give effect to the judgments of all the election petitions tribunals.”

He added: “The Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) are closely monitoring proceedings in all the tribunals and we have regular updates from our in-house lawyers and external solicitors.

“We are committed to our electoral responsibilities and will at all times keep Nigerians informed of our activities.”

<<The Nation>>