The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC has announced 16 February, 2019 as the date for the next Presidential election in the country.
The INEC National Commissioner in charge South West, Prince Solomon Soyebi, at a news conference in Abuja on Thursday said added that the governorship/state assembly/Federal Capital Territory Area Council elections had been fixed for Saturday, 2 March, 2019.
Announcing the date, Soyebi said Nigeria’s constitution provided for elections to hold not earlier than 150 days and not later than 30 days to the end of the incumbent’s tenure, saying that in order to ensure certainty in the dates for elections, and to allow for proper planning by the Commission, political parties, security agencies, candidates and all stakeholders, the Commission has decided to fix the date for the National Elections for the third Saturday in February of the election year, followed by State elections two weeks later.
“To that extent, the 2019 Presidential and National Assembly elections will hold on Saturday, 16th February 2019, while the Governorship/State Assembly/Federal Capital Territory Area Council Elections will hold on Saturday 2nd March 2019.
“The Commission has also received a Report from the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) of the Federation, informing us that 23 Electoral Officers indicted over the investigation into the 10th December Rivers Re-run elections have been charged to court.
“The Commission has repeatedly said that it will cooperate with security agencies for the prosecution of any of our staff found to have violated the integrity of the electoral process. Accordingly, at our meeting today, the Commission decided to apply the provisions of the INEC terms and conditions of service to all those charged to court, since it constitutes gross misconduct.
“The penalty for this is interdiction. All the 23 Electoral Officers will be placed on half salary and will not report for duty pending the determination of their respective cases by the court,” he said.
He said the commission would remain fully committed to the sanctity of the electoral process and would never protect any of its staff, no matter how highly placed, found to have violated the provisions of the Electoral Act and our guidelines