The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has again expressed displeasure over litigations, particularly the conflicting orders emanating from courts of coordinate jurisdiction.
INEC National Chairman, Prof. Mahmoud Yakubu, expressed the displeasure at the commission’s quarterly meeting with leaders of political parties held on Monday, in Abuja.
Yakubu said that the conflicting orders were making the work of the commission difficult.
“I am aware that some of the cases are still in court and therefore subjudice.
“I must say that some of the decided cases are making our work difficult and we have been crying out loud for a long time.
“In particular, some pre-election litigations relating to the nomination of candidates for elections were not determined until after the elections.
“Consequently, in some instances, political parties were declared winners without candidates to immediately receive the Certificates of Return on account of protracted and conflicting litigations or where courts rather than votes determine winners of elections.
“This situation is compounded by cases on the leadership of political parties, thereby making the exercise of our regulatory responsibilities difficult.
“It appears that in a number of electoral cases in Nigeria today, the settled law is now unsettled and the time-honoured principle of stare decisis does not seem to matter any longer.
“What is most disconcerting for us is that the more INEC strives to improve the credibility and transparency of our electoral process, the more extraneous obstacles are put in our way through litigations.
“However, the commission appreciates the recent statement by His Lordship, the Chief Justice of Nigeria as well as the strongly-worded concern by the Nigerian Bar Association.
“We will work with both the Bar and the Bench to defend the electoral process in the best interest of our democracy.”
Yakubu said that by the same token, the chairmen and leaders of political parties had a role to play.
“I wish to remind you that INEC is both an umpire and a regulator.
“The commission is an umpire in dealing even-handedly with political parties collectively, but when it comes to the management of intra-party affairs, it is a regulator. We will play our role decisively,” Yakubu said.