- Court order forces withdrawal of 25 certificates of return.
- The media has become the first line of reach of the masses.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has revealed that it has withdrawn 25 certificates of return issued to some candidates who took part in the 2019 general election.
Festus Okoye, INEC’s national commissioner for information and voter education, made tghis revelation at a media forum in Enugu state on Monday.
Okoye who noted that the commission took the action based on court orders said 20 of the 25 certificates were withdrawn from members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and given to other APC members while two were withdrawn from members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and issued to other PDP members.
He said the other three were withdrawn from both the APC and PDP and given to other political parties.
“Before we left INEC national headquarters on Friday, the commission has withdrawn 25 certificates-of-return from the first owners to their new owners following court orders to do that,” he said.
Okoye, who commended the media for its openness and “robust engagement” with the commission before, during and after the election, noted that the media had become critical stakeholders for the success of future elections.
While noting that the media had become the first line of reach of the masses as well as a platform for the explanation of INEC political and electoral decisions, Okoye called on the media and its practitioners to dig deep into the electoral act to ensure that the import of the recently amended sections is made known to the public.
“The media should also center on the aspect of using Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) to resolve electoral issues especially at the party levels instead of going to the court,” Okoye said.