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Handling of pre-election matters by INEC is overheating the polity of Nigeria – Justice Ishaq Bello

A High Court Judge in the Federal Capital Territory, Justice Ishaq Bello says the handling of pre-election matters by the Independent National Electoral Commission has been overheating the polity.

Justice Bello condemned in particular a situation where the INEC would list a candidate of a political party for an election even when the emergence of such candidate was still a subject of litigation.

He made the remarks at the retreat on modalities for making and gazetting INEC regulations, organized by the INEC for legal practitioners within and outside the electoral body.

The event was organized to receive advice and vital inputs in developing a framework for the enhancement of qualitative regulations.

The judge said the name of an aspirant should not be submitted to INEC as a candidate where there are still controversies over the candidate’s nomination and frowned at a situation where such issues are pushed to the judiciary when it is clear that the judiciary has no say in pre-election matters.

Justice Bello said there should be a provision in the Electoral Act to stop the submission of names of disputed candidates.

He said the absence of such a provision is a very destructive weapon, adding that INEC has been enjoined to accept different candidates from different parties without actual reasons and urged stakeholders in the country’s political system to address the issue.

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