By Jeremiah Urowayino
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said that it is unlawful for political parties to deploy poll/party agents whose names were not forwarded to the Commission for accreditation.
The commission made this disclosure in a statement issued by Festus Okoye, INEC national commissioner and chairman information voters education committee.
Okoye noted that in its timetable and schedule of activities for the elections, INEC had fixed February 1, as the last date for the submission of the name, two passport photographs of each polling agent and sample signature for the presidential and national assembly elections scheduled for February 16.
Okoye said the commission at its meeting with all resident electoral commissioners (RECs) in Abuja on Friday reviewed its state of readiness for the general election, the national and state elections, scheduled for February. 16 and March 2.
Okoye said at the end of the meeting, the commission expressed concern that a week after the deadline for the submission of the list of poll agents, only a few parties had completed the submission of the names of polling agents.
He added that in less than three weeks to the deadline for the submission of the list of candidates for the governorship and state assembly elections, only a few political parties had complied with the extant provisions of the law.
“Most of the lists submitted are not accompanied by the photographs and specimen signatures of the poll/party agents as required by law,” he said.
“The Commission has decided as follows: All political parties that submitted incomplete applications without the specimen signatures and photographs of the poll/party agents are strongly requested to regularize this on or before the close of work on Monday the February 11.
“All political parties are reminded that February 16, is the last day for the submission of the names, photographs and specimen signatures of poll/party agents for the Governorship, State Assembly and Area Council elections.
“Any list of poll/party agents that is not accompanied by specimen signatures and photographs of poll/party agents will be rejected.
“The security agents have been so informed and no recognition, right or privilege will be accorded to anyone not accredited by the Commission.”