Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
Few days to the presidential and National Assembly elections, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) saturday expressed concern that only few registered political parties complied with the provisions of the extant law regarding the submission of names of polling/party agents.
To this end, the electoral body said that all political parties that submitted incomplete applications without the specimen signatures and photographs of the poll/party agents are strongly requested to regularise this on or before close of work tomorrow.
The INEC expressed this concern in a statement its National Commissioner and Chairman, Voter Education and Publicity, Mr. Festus Okoye issued yesterday.
The statement said the commission met with its Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) from all the 36 States of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in Abuja on Friday to further review its state of readiness for the general election.
At the end of the meeting, the statement said the commission decided “to draw the attention of the registered political parties and members of the public to the provisions of the law regarding the submission of names of polling/party agents by political parties.
“Section 45 (1) of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) provides that each political party may by notice in writing addressed to the Electoral Officer of the Local Government Area or Area Council, appoint a polling agent for each polling unit and collation centre in the Local Government Area or Area Council for which it has a candidate.
“And the notice, which sets out the name and address of the polling agent, shall be accompanied by two passport photographs of each polling agent and sample signature of the polling agent and be given to the Electoral Officer at least 14 days before the date fixed for the election.
“Provided that no person presently serving as Chairman or member of a Local Government or Area Council, Commissioner of a State, Deputy Governor or Governor of a State, Minister or any other person holding political office under any tier of Government and who has not resigned his appointment at least three months before the election shall serve as a polling agent of any political party, either at the polling unit or at any centre designated for collation of results of election.”
The statement said most of the lists submitted “are not accompanied by the photographs and specimen signatures of the poll/party agents as required by law.
“All political parties that submitted incomplete applications without the specimen signatures and photographs of the poll/party agents are strongly requested to regularize this on or before close of work tomorrow.
“All Political Parties are reminded that February 16, 2019 is the last day for the submission of the names, photographs and specimen signatures of poll/party agents for the Governorship, State Assembly and Area Council elections.
“Any list of poll/party agents that is not accompanied by specimen signatures and photographs of poll/patty agents will be rejected.
“It is unlawful for political parties to deploy poll/party agents whose names have not been forwarded to the Commission and duly accredited in accordance with the law. The security agents have been so informed and no recognition, right or privilege will be accorded to anyone not accredited by the commission,” it stated.