By Chuks Okocha
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said yesterday that it would release the details of the 17 political parties that have conducted their governorship primary elections on Friday.
The INEC’s National Commissioner and Chairman Information and Voter Education Committee, Mr. Festus Okoye, said that the list and personal particulars of the candidates as submitted to the INEC by the 17 political parties would be uploaded on the commission’s website and published in its Ondo State Office in Akure on Friday 31 July 2020.
Okoye explained that this is in compliance with section 31(3) of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended), adding that the list would also be published on the commission’s social media platforms on the same day.
He explained that by section 31 (5) and (6) of the Electoral Act, a person who has reasonable grounds to believe that any information given in the affidavit or any of the documents submitted by any of the candidates is false, may file a suit in the law court seeking a declaration that such information is false.
“If the court determines that the information is false, the court shall issue an order disqualifying the candidate from contesting the election,” he explained.
Okoye said that the INEC’s meeting that took place yesterday deliberated on a number of issues which include the Nasarawa Central State Constituency Election scheduled for August 8, 2020, the preparations for the Edo Governorship Election holding on September 19, 2020 and the conduct of party primaries for the Ondo State Governorship Election scheduled to hold on October 10, 2020.
He explained that on February 6, 2020, the commission published the timetable and schedule of activities for the Ondo Governorship Election and gave political parties interested in sponsoring and nominating candidates between July 2 and 25, 2020, to conduct party primaries and till 6p.m. of July 28, 2020, for the submission of the List and Particulars of nominated candidates.
According to the INEC’s commissioner, “17 out of the 18 registered Political Parties gave the commission the requisite statutory notice of their intention to conduct primaries and they conducted primaries for the purposes of nominating candidates for the governorship election.
“The commission opened its dedicated nomination portal on July 21, 2020 and some of the political parties that conducted their primaries before the July 25 deadline seized the opportunity and uploaded the list and particulars of their nominated candidates ahead of the cut off time of 6p.m. on July 28, 2020.
“As at 4.08p.m. yesterday, July 28, 2020, all the 17 political parties have submitted the list and particulars of their nominated candidates using the INEC dedicated portal.”
The commission urged members of the public to take an active part in the vetting of the list and particulars of nominated candidates to enhance transparency in the party nomination processes.