Following the order from the court, the Independent National Electoral Commission on Monday revealed that it has withdrawn twenty-five Certificates of Return from elected candidates during the just concluded 2019 general elections.
The development was revealed by Festus Okoye, the Chairman of Information and Voter Education Committee at the ‘Forum on Media Coverage of 2019 General Elections’ which took place in Enugu on Monday.
Okoye in his statement revealed that twenty out of the twenty-five certificates were withdrawn from All Progressives Congress members to other APC members, while two from the Peoples Democratic Party members were withdrawn and presented to other PDP members.
He stated that the remaining certificate of return was withdrawn from APC and PDP and given to other political parties.
“Before we left INEC national headquarters on Friday; the commission has withdrawn 25 certificates-of-return from the first owners to their new owners following court orders to do that,”.
Further, in his statement, he appreciated the media for its relationship with the commission before, during and after the general election.
He stated that the media was a critical stakeholder in the success of the elections.
Okoye stated that the media has been the source of information for the masses and also a platform for explaining INEC political and electoral decisions.
He called on the media to present the amended sections of the Electoral Act to the public.
“The media should also centre on the aspect of using Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) to resolve electoral issues especially at the party levels instead of going to the court,”.
Chris Isigozu, the President of the Nigeria Union of Journalists in his statement noted that the media and the commission enjoyed a good relationship during and after the elections.
“However, we are here to evaluate the entire process and see where we can strengthen our engagement and better the electoral system.
“We would be open and say it as it; so that the electoral and democratic processes can be better even as we go into off season elections,”.