Inconclusive elections: House of Reps urges INEC not to undermine will of Nigerians
David|March. 14, 2019
- The INEC has been asked not to undermine the will of Nigerians by declaring elections inconclusive
- According to the House of Reps, INEC should adhere to the constitution of the country by allowing aggrieved parties to proceed to relevant tribunals
- One of the lawmakers said the frequent cases of inconclusive elections had made some Nigerians refer to the electoral umpire as the "Inconclusive National Electoral Commission"
The House of Representatives on Wednesday, March 13, called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) not to undermine the will of Nigerians by declaring elections inconclusive.
Premium Times reports that the lawmakers made this call while adopting a motion of urgent national Importance brought before it by Sunday Karimi (PDP Kogi) at the plenary.
They also urged the commission to adhere to the Nigerian constitution by allowing aggrieved parties to proceed to relevant tribunals in order to ensure peace, security and promote the credibility of the process.
Karimi while moving the motion said prior to the 2015 governorship election in Kogi, there were very few cases of inconclusive elections and reruns.
According to him, the frequent cases of inconclusive elections in the last four years had made some Nigerians refer to the electoral umpire as “Inconclusive National Electoral Commission”.
Karimi added that though the constitution empowers INEC to come up with guidelines, some sections of the electoral guidelines were causing apprehension.
Contributing to the debate, Aliyu Madaki (Kano, PDP) accused the national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, of trying to meddle in the political affairs of Kano.
Madaki, who is also the leader of the “Kwankwasiya Caucus” in the house, accused President Muhammadu Buhari of not acting in the face of “irregularities” carried out by INEC.
According to him, “If he (Buhari) has any integrity, it should be questioned seriously. We will not take it; we will not allow it. It will not happen."
He said while his party (the PDP) will not rig elections or support electoral violence, “nobody will rig us out” in Kano. “Nobody will come to Kano and say this must be done. Kano is not Lagos.”
Also contributing, Muhammad Soba from Kaduna state, said: "INEC has no powers to declare elections inconclusive after results have been collated at the poll.
“Regarding any result announced at the polling unit, nobody has the power to cancel such results. Once the result has been declared at the polling unit, no one can interfere at even the ward level let alone the state collation centre.”
Femi Gbajabiamila, majority leader of the house, however, suggested an electoral amendment to address the issue.
He said: “Inconclusiveness should be something of the past but how do we get there? Amending the electoral law to limit the powers of INEC.
“The supreme court already ruled on this and said INEC has such powers; so the only way to change the supreme court ruling is to amend our law.”
The House resolved to set up a committee to advise it on the next line of action.
The party alleged that Yakubu is doing this by declaring governorship elections in states where the PDP is in clear lead as inconclusive.