- A consortium of senior lawyers has asked the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to suspend the planned rerun election for the Anambra Central Senatorial district scheduled for January 13, until the legal disputes including judgments in respect of the disputed seat are settled.
The commission made the announcement Tuesday while outlining the 2019 general election timetable.
If you consider the management and logistics of providing ballot papers for a projected 80 million registered voters, ad hoc staff and the requirements for forward and reverse logistics, monitoring of political party primaries, electioneering campaign, campaign finance, voter education, accreditation of national/international observers and the media, the task is enormous.
Campaigns for the governorship and state assemblies are scheduled to commence on December the 1, 2018.
In his words: "The number of political parties is good for plural democracy however political parties must cooperate with the commission for a successful election".
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Nigeria's ongoing challenges include the deadly Boko Haram insurgency and a weak economy.
Yakubu also announced Saturday, March 2, 2019 as the date for the governorship elections across the 36 states except for Anambra, Bayelsa, Kogi, Edo, Ondo, Ekiti and Osun States.
Yakubu said that the conduct of party primaries, including the resolution of disputes arising from the primaries for national and state elections had been slated for between August 18 and October 7, 2018.
The letter further drew the attention of the INEC chairman to a suit filed by Okonkwo marked FHC/ABJ/CS/1294/2017 against INEC and all the participating political parties and their candidates, seeking to stop the rerun, which has been served on the Commission.
The commission according to Mr. Yakubu would on October 25 publish the personal particulars of National elections candidates on October 25 and those of the state candidates on November 9.
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He said that these institutions should be converted into convent schools which offer an optional subject of Islamic education.
It is understood that the presidential and National Assembly elections will hold on February 16 while governorship and State Assembly elections will be conducted on Saturday, March 2, 2019.
Mr. Yakubu said that the INEC would on January 2, 2019 publish notice of the polls, and on January 7, 2019 publish official register of voters for the election.
The letter drew the attention of the INEC boss to the December 13, consent judgment of Justice John Tsoho of the Federal High Court, which declared their client (Okonkwo) as victor of the Anambra Central Senatorial district, and which has not been set aside.
INEC had previously issued the certificate of registration to the Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) following a Federal High Court's order.
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The Cabinet also decided to make changes relating to competent authority for examining FDI proposals from countries of concern. However, FII/FPI purchases were restricted to secondary market only.