The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has raised an alarm over the conflicting court orders arising from the disputes among members of the same party.
INEC’s National Commissioner and Chairman of Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, said this in a statement on Thursday.
According to him, some politicians obtain orders from courts that have been completely removed from the geographical area where the course of action arose.
“The Commission is worried about the spate and rapidity of conflicting court orders mostly obtained ex-parte involving substantially the same parties, on the same or similar grounds and from courts of coordinate jurisdiction on issues and challenges around the administration of political parties and conduct of party primaries,” he said.
He added, “The Commission is committed to obeying all court orders, but the speed, frequency, and conflicting nature of the Orders leave it in an awkward and impossible position.”
Okoye, therefore, called on the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) to impress on senior members of the Bar to put the country’s interest and the judiciary above every other interest.
He urged the NBA to tell its members not to allow personal considerations to outweigh their commitment to the profession, the rule of law and due process.
The INEC official stressed that it was in the best interest of the Bar and the Bench not to do anything that would bring them into disrepute.
“These calls have become necessary to draw attention to the uncertainties and threats posed by conflicting orders on not only preparations for elections and but also to the growth and development of our democracy,” he said.
Okoye explained that the call became necessary after INEC met on Thursday and deliberated on various issues, including the effect of conflicting court orders and pending bye-elections that arose as a result of resignations and death of members of the National and State Assemblies.
In view of its Policy on Conducting Elections in the Context of the COVID-19 Pandemic and the need to test run the new policy as well as Regulations and Guidelines developed therefrom, he revealed that the INEC made some resolutions.
This includes test-running the policy in Nasarawa State to fill the vacancy created by the death of Adamu Ibrahim, the lawmaker representing Nasarawa Central State Constituency.
The INEC national commissioner announced that the bye-election would take place on August 8 while the timetable and schedule of activities have been uploaded on the commission’s website.