The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has revealed that no fewer than 809 pre-election cases are currently pending before the courts across the country to challenge the primaries conducted by the political parties for the 2019 general election.
The Commission’s chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, made the disclosure while presenting certificate of return to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Zamfara State governor-elect, Bello Mohammed Matawalle, three senators and seven House of Representatives-elect in Abuja, yesterday.
He further lamented that the commission has withdrawn 64 certificates of return and issued to persons declared winners by courts of law, warning the political parties to conduct credible primaries for the November Kogi and Bayelsa states governorship elections.
He said: “The presentation of certificates of return to winners of any election conducted by INEC is a statutory responsibility required of the Commission under Section 75 of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended). In compliance with the judgement of the Supreme Court, 12 certificates of return will be presented at this occasion to the governor-elect, deputy governor-elect, three senators-elect and seven members of the House of Representatives-elect. “On Friday this week, twenty-four certificates will be presented in Gusau to winners of the state assembly elections. I want to reiterate the importance of conducting proper primaries before elections in order to reduce the spate of litigations associated with them.
“At the moment, there are 809 pre-election cases pending in various courts across the country challenging the conduct of primaries by political parties for the 2019 general election. This is clearly more than the total number of petitions currently before the various election petition tribunals nationwide challenging the outcome of the main elections.”

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