THE BALL IS IN INEC’S COURT
By Amb. Tony Okonigene
The parties congresses and primaries have come and gone. The deadline for the submission of candidates names for the presidential and NASS elections into INEC portal has elapsed on 17th June, 2022, by 6pm. All activities have now shifted from the parties to INEC.
Sections 29 and 84 of the Electoral Act, give political parties the duties to submit the names of their candidates to INEC and also conduct *valid* congresses and primaries. Same sections also empower INEC to publish the names of candidates of political parties and monitor to ensure that the candidates emerge through valid processes in line with the established laws.
Note that going by the provision of section 29 of the Electoral Act, only INEC can publish the names of valid candidates within 7 days after the deadline for submission. In determining the names to publish, INEC according to its policy, will adhere strictly to the provisions of the Electoral Act and obey any court judgement or order from a court of competent jurisdiction.
INEC is the body empowered by law to publish the names of valid candidates. By the method adopted for uploading candidates names, INEC will not have any physical meeting with officials of any party. Decisions will be taken strictly by INEC in accordance with the provisions of the law. Any party or candidate who feels dissatisfied can go to court.
Concerning the Edo State PDP candidates, INEC has already made its position clear as to the valid ones. There will be no going back. Same position with some APC candidates in Akwa Ibom State . Even the courts have spoken concerning the PDP candidates in Edo State. In all, the people have spoken. It is legacy PDP all the way. No political abracadabra can change things.
Let us stop belabouring ourselves concerning the obvious. We have elections to win. Our valid candidates are already known.