‘No Preference’, INEC Tells 50 Rivers Applicants Seeking Inspection Of Election Materials

INEC said about 50 applicants were received for inspection of election materials in River State.


FILE: Ballot boxes set up for the governorship and state house of assembly elections in Kaduna State on Saturday, March 18, 2023. Credit: Sodiq Adelakun

 

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Rivers State on Tuesday requested the cooperation of all political parties seeking the inspection of election materials used in the February 25 and March 18, 2023 polls, saying it will discharge┬áits constitutional and lawful duties “without preferences or bias”.

INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in the state, Johnson Sinikiem, in a statement, said about 50 applicants were received for inspection of election materials.

For days now, members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) have clashed at the INEC office in the state over the inspection of election materials.

However, the INEC commissioner in the state, said although the application of Certified True Copies of documents and access for inspection of election materials are the legitimate entitlement of candidates and parties to Election Petitions, these are however governed by processes and procedures which include payment of requisite fees, making copies/photocopies of relevant documents and certification by the authorised official of the Commission.

“The Commission has received nearly fifty (50) of these applications since the conclusion of the Presidential, National Assembly, Governorship and State Assembly elections Rivers State and a good number of these applications have been processed in accordance with the date of receipt of such applications and payment of certification fees. This process is still on-going,” the statement partly read.

“The Commission have also advised all applicants to visit our Local Government offices where these documents are domiciled for inspection while we work out modalities for inspection of other documents domiciled at the State office in accordance with available spaces but they insisted that the huge volumes of documents like ballot papers be brought to the state office. They are once again reminded to avail themselves of this opportunity at our Local Government offices to inspect these materials as earlier advised.

“The Management of INEC Rivers State therefore wishes to assure all applicants and the general Public that the Commission is committed to discharging its constitutional and lawful duties without preferences or bias, and do request the co-operation and understanding of all Parties and the general public to enable us serve you better.”