INEC to reject political parties’ agents over photos, signatures
The Independent National Electoral Commission says it will reject the names of agents of political parties that do not follow the requirements expected from the parties ahead of the elections.
The commission said it was concerned that a week after the deadline for the submission of the list of poll agents for the presidential and National Assembly elections and less than three weeks to the deadline for the submission of the list of candidates for the governorship and state assembly elections, only a few political parties had complied with the extant provisions of the law.
Apart from that, it said most of the lists submitted by the few politic parties were not accompanied by photographs and specimen signatures of the polling/party agents as required by law.
National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee at the commission, Mr Festus Okoye, stated this in a statement made available to SUNDAY PUNCH in Abuja on Saturday night.
Okoye said that the commission at its meeting with Resident Electoral Commissioners from all the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja on Friday, further reviewed its state of readiness for the general elections starting on February 16, 2019 with the presidential and National Assembly elections and ending on March 2, 2019 with the governorship and state assembly elections.
He said at the end of the meeting, the commission decided to draw the attention of the registered political parties and members of the public to the provisions of the law regarding the submission of names of polling/party agents by political parties.
Section 45 (1) of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) provides that “Each political party may by notice in writing addressed to the electoral officer of the local government area or area council appoint a polling agent for each polling unit and collation centre in the local government area or area council for which it has a candidate and the notice which sets out the name and address of the polling agent shall be accompanied by two passport photographs of each polling agent and sample signature of the polling agent and be given to the Electoral Officer at least 14 days before the date fixed for the election.
Okoye said that the commission had decided that all political parties that submitted incomplete applications without the specimen signatures and photographs of the poll/patty agents should regularise this on or before the close of work on Monday, February 11, 2019.
Other measures taken at the meeting, he said, were that “all political parties are reminded that February 16, 2019 is the last day for the submission of the names, photographs and specimen signatures of poll/party agents for the governorship state assembly and area council elections.”