By Boluwaji Obahopo
THE Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, yesterday, expressed concern over indiscriminate court orders affecting its job.
INEC’s National Commissioner and Chairman, Voters Education and Publicity, Festus Okoye, expressed the concern while speaking at a media parley in Lokoja ahead of Saturday’s elections in Kogi State.
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Okoye said even though the commission had resolved to obey every court order relating to conduct of election, it has become source of worry as such orders often slow down its job.
“For instance, when a court gives order 48 hours to an election, which must be obeyed, it means the commission will have to put in extra effort to meet the deadline.
“Only last week, the court asked us to involve the SDP on the ballot. While that was being done, just yesterday (Tuesday), another court gave order that APM must be included.
“If only you know the logistic and efforts involved in printing ballot papers, you will understand why we are apprehensive of such 11th hour ruling.”
Barrister Okoye called for dialogue on the extent to which the commission can exercise its power guaranteed by the constitution and electoral laws.
He said that the commission will embark on presentation of robust proposals on electoral reforms to the National Assembly next year.
“We will be bold, strong and courageous in our efforts to get our electoral system reformed so that our country can enjoy full benefits of democracy,” he added.
Okoye also called for proper scrutiny of politicians to avoid recycling impunity.