By Raphael Jov
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it has so far withdrawn 64 Certificates of Return and re-issued them to persons declared winners by courts of law, after the 2019 general elections.
INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakub, who disclosed this at the presentation of Certificates of Return to Zamfara State Governor-elect and members of the National and State House of Assembly elect from the state, reiterates the importance of conducting proper primaries by political parties before elections in order to reduce the spate of litigation associated with them.
Yakub said that the Zamfara example is not the first pre-election case determined by the Supreme Court arising from the recent party primaries, as he recalled earlier that, the apex court had determined the case of Lere Federal Constituency in Kaduna State which the Commission had already complied with and issued the certificate of return to the winner.
INEC Boss noted that Nigeria’s democracy in particular and electoral process in general could never be virile unless political parties rise to the challenge of internal party democracy.
Going forward, Yakub said that INEC would not accept the submission of names of candidates by political parties under Sec. 31of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) unless there is evidence, monitored by the Commission, of compliance with the provision of Sec. 87 of the Act.
INEC at the occasion presented Certificate of Return to the Zamfara State governor elect, Dr Bello Matawalle of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and his Deputy, Mahdi Gusau, Others issued certificate of return are three Senators-elect and seven Members of the House of Representatives-elect under the platform of PDP, while 24 certificates would be presented in Gusau to the winners of the State Assembly elections, on Friday.