Nigeria commission sets date for 2019 presidential election

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari speaks at the United Nations General Assembly

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari speaks at the United Nations General Assembly

Nigeria's Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has released the timetable for the 2019 general elections, the fifth that will be conducted since the nation returned to democracy in 1999.Former military leader Olusegun Obasajno won the 1999 election and was re-elected in 2005 before handing over to late Alhaju Shehu Umaru Yar'Adua in 2009.

"We are going by the orders of the Court of Appeal, and so there will be election for the Anambra Central senatorial rerun on January 13 as scheduled", he said.

Justice Tsoho had in the said judgment in reference ordered ‎INEC to issue a Certificate of Return to Obiora Okonkwo as the victor of the Anambra Central Senatorial seat.

INEC added that the Anambra central election would hold on January 13, 2018, after receiving mandate from Court of Appeal to conduct a fresh election within 90 days.

They urged the commission to issue a certificate of return to their candidate, Obiora Okonkwo, who was recently declared victor of the PDP 2014 senatorial primaries by a federal high court in Abuja.

"There is no time to waste, please endeavour to familiarize yourself with the Constitution, the Electoral Act and the INEC guidelines as well as the Commissions strategic plan 2017-2021", Prof Yakubu said.

The re-run followed the nullification of the election of the PDP candidate Mrs Uche Ekwunife, who was returned in 2015 as Senator for the zone.

"Your Commission knows very well that it can not lawfully or validly go ahead with the planned rerun, hence it has briefed a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Asiwaju Solomon Awomolo to file a motion on notice at the Federal High Court, seeking to "vary" the consent judgment of Tsoho, we have already been served with the motion and we have responded thereto accordingly".

"Also, in paragraph 6 of the affidavit of urgency deposed to by the same Alhassan A. Umar, the court is urged to hear the motion to vary the judgment of Tsoho, expeditiously "for parties to have their fate determined".

The firm declared that in the light of the documents before the courts, voluntarily filed by INEC admitting that unless and until the judgment of Tsoho, J., is set aside, the re-run can not go ahead, it would be preposterous for Prof. If each of the 68 political parties in Nigeria today fields candidates for all the 1,558 constituencies to be contested in the 2019 general elections, the Commission will grapple with 105,944 candidates.

The REC therefore called on the people to join hands with the commission to improve the conduct of elections. Yakubu that his Commission knows well that "it can not lawfully or validly go on with the planned rerun, hence it has briefed a Senior Lawyer, Asiwaju Solomon Awomolo, SAN, to file a Motion on Notice at the Federal High Court, seeking to vary the consent judgment of Tsoho, J. We have already been served with this Motion and we have responded therto accordingly".

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