THE Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) yesterday disclosed that high courts sitting across the States and Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have so far nullified a total of 81 elections including Senatorial, House of Representatives and two governorship polls that would proceed to the Supreme Court.
INEC Chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu made these disclosures yesterday in Abuja during his first meeting with states’ Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs).
Yakubu said the meeting with the electoral umpires was to enable the Commission to discuss “ number of issues including the assessment of the elections conducted so far, the continuous voters registration, distribution of Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) yet to be distributed before the 2015 general elections, by-elections, and the one very dear to the commission, the welfare of our staff.”
Yakubu added, “as at last week, the High court sitting nationwide have annulled a total of 81 elections comprising senatorial, House of Representatives and two governorship elections that will proceed to the Supreme Court.”
“In 2007, after the general elections in that year, a total of 20 elections were nullified; in 2011, 34 elections were nullified, making a total of 54 elections for a period between 2007 and 2011. But for the 2015 elections so far, 81 elections have been nullified, which is more than the two previous elections put together,” he stated.
The INEC boss said further that “a number of elections was upturned at the court of appeal and ordered that a certificate of returns to be issued to rightful winners which the Commission had complied with.”
“As at the end of last week, there were 15 of such cases, which we have duly complied. So if you add the upturned elections and nullified elections so far, the number is 96. So we need to put our heads together to respond immediately the decisions of the court to conduct these elections.
“We have a maximum of 90 days to conduct the elections. This means that we have latest, the middle of March to conduct the elections. So the first quarter of this year is going to be for the commission, like a mini-general elections.
“So this meeting is to review the situation and take wide range decisions, so that free, fair and credible elections could be conducted with deployment of technology,” he said.