Ahead of the September 19 Governorship Election in Edo state, the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC has expressed concerns over the multiplicity of similar ex parte court orders, urging the Nigerian Bar Association NBA and the Judiciary to be above board in the discharge of their duties.
National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee of INEC, Barr. Festus Okoye gave the charge in a statement issued after the commission’s meeting Thursday in Abuja.
There have been a spate of ex parte orders secured by political gladiators ahead of the election in Edo state.
“The Commission is worried about the spate and rapidity of conflicting Court Orders mostly obtained ex-parte involving substantially the same parties, on the same or similar grounds and from courts of coordinate jurisdiction on issues and challenges around the administration of political parties and conduct of party primaries.
“Some of the Orders were obtained from Courts completely removed from the geographical area where the course of action arose.
“The Commission is committed to obeying all court orders, but the speed, frequency and conflicting nature of the Orders leave it in an awkward and impossible position.
“We urge the Nigerian Bar Association NBA to impress on senior members of the Bar to put the country’s interest and the judiciary above every other interest and not allow personal considerations to outweigh their commitment to the profession, the rule of law and due process. It is in the best interest of the Bar and the Bench not to do anything that would bring them into disrepute.
“These calls have become necessary to draw attention to the uncertainties and threats posed by conflicting orders on not only preparations for elections and but also to the growth and development of our democracy”, INEC stated.
The Commission said it would test-run its Policy on conducting elections within the context of the Covid-19 by using the election into the Nasarawa Central State Constituency of Nasarawa State to fill the vacancy created by the death of Hon. Adamu Suleiman Ibrahim.
“The bye-election will take place on 8th August 2020. The Timetable and Schedule of Activities has been uploaded on the Commission’s website”.