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We won’t query court decisions – INEC

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said that it will not be drawn to debate the correctness or otherwise of decisions of Election Tribunals or Court judgments.

It stressed that the “decisions of courts and tribunal are final and the rule of law dictates that all authorities and persons give effect to them”.

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According to the Commission: “The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) and the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended) have clearly and comprehensively delineated the powers and areas of jurisdiction of various institutions of our democracy.

“Rather, the Commission will focus on its efforts and that of other institutions to bring about necessary reforms to give Nigerians comprehensive and robust electoral framework that will take care of perceived and identified flaws and lacunae in the electoral process”.

In a statement by INEC National Commissioner and Chairman Information and Voters Education Committee, Festus Okoye, the Commission enjoined political parties and candidates to develop the democratic spirit and assist the Commission in the conduct of free and transparent elections.

The statement reads: “We assure Nigerians that the Commission will remain focused and determined to continue with improvements in the electoral process and solidify the sovereign right of the Nigerian people to freely choose their representatives.

“The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) conducted general elections in 2019 to fill 1,558 positions.

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“Arising from the conduct of the elections, some of the Political Parties and Candidates filed Petitions before the various Election Petitions Tribunals and Courts to ventilate their grievances and all the Petitions have been determined. For the records, a total of 807 post-election petitions were filed, out of which 582 were dismissed, 183 withdrawn by the petitioners and only 30 petitions, representing less than 2% of the total resulted in orders by the Tribunals and Courts to the Commission to rerun the elections.

“Subsequently, the Commission conducted court-ordered re-run elections in 30 Constituencies in 12 States of the federation and made declarations and returns.

In the re-run elections in the South East of Nigeria, the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) won the election in 2 Constituencies in Abia State. In the 3 Constituencies where the Commission conducted elections in Imo State, the Action Alliance (AA), the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) secured one seat each.

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