The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said that it will display the personal particulars, including academic qualifications of all the candidates nominated by political parties for the Edo and Ondo governorship elections.
It disclosed that this will afford the citizens the opportunity to scrutinise the particulars of the candidates and take legal actions against those who present false information to the Commission.
INEC insisted that this will help to check the new trend of courts determining the outcome of elections as observed in recent times.
The Supreme Court sacked Bayelsa Governor-elect on the account that his running mate Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo submitted fake certificates to INEC.
INEC National Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, who gave the hint during the quarterly meeting between the Commission and Resident Electoral Commissioners (REC) said: “The personal particulars of all the candidates nominated by political parties for the Edo and Ondo governorship elections, including their academic qualifications, will be displayed in our offices in the two States as required by law.
“This will enable citizens to scrutinise them and take legal action against any candidate who provides false information to the Commission. The personal particulars of candidates will be displayed on 6th July 2020 in Edo State and on 4th August 2020 in Ondo State. I wish to appeal to citizens to note the dates and to seize the opportunity to scrutinise the information provided on oath by the candidates in the interest of our democracy and good governance.
“For our part, the Commission has been studying the judgements of courts arising from the conduct of recent elections. We have also been reviewing the reports from accredited observers as well as internal reports from our State Offices. We will continue to keep an eye on the conduct of our officials and apply appropriate sanctions on erring staff, both regular and ad-hoc”.
He warned political parties to avoid acrimonious primaries that will result in endless litigation and observe due diligence in the screening of their candidates.
According to him: “Given recent experience with some Governorship elections, political parties need to do more to avoid the conduct of acrimonious primaries or failure to observe due diligence in the screening of their candidates, resulting in protracted litigations and eventual determination of the outcome of elections by orders of the court.
“I wish to draw the attention of political parties to two critical dates in the timetable released by the Commission a few weeks ago. Party primaries for the democratic election and nomination of candidates for the Governorship election in Edo State must be held from 2nd to 27th June 2020. The date for Ondo State is 2nd to 25th July 2020. The Commission will not extend the dates. We will also rigorously monitor the primaries and where necessary, apply sanctions as provided by law”.
Yakubu also hinted that the Commission will introduce critical changes ahead of the coming governorship elections to strengthen the process and procedures.