The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has directed all political parties participating in the forthcoming general elections to complete the processes for the submission of the names of their polling agents today Monday, February 11th.
This was contained in a statement issued onSaturday by Festus Okoye, INEC National Commissioner, and Chairman, Informationand Voter Education Committee, on Saturday in Abuja.
INEC in its timetable and schedule of activitiesfor the 2019 General Elections had fixed Feb. 1, as the last date for thesubmission of the name, two passport photographs of each polling agent andsample signature for the Presidential and National Assembly Elections scheduledfor Feb. 16.
“The commission at its meeting with allResident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) in Abuja on Friday reviewed its stateof readiness for the general elections, the national and state elections,scheduled for Feb. 16 and March 2. The commission expressed concern that a weekafter the deadline for the submission of the list of poll agents forPresidential and National Assembly elections only few parties had completed thesubmission of the names of polling agents”.
Okoye added that in less than three weeks tothe deadline for the submission of the list of candidates for the Governorshipand State Assembly elections, only few political parties had complied with theextant provisions of the law.
“Most of the lists submitted are notaccompanied by the photographs and specimen signatures of the poll/party agentsas required by law. The Commission has decided as follows: All politicalparties that submitted incomplete applications without the specimen signaturesand photographs of the poll/party agents are strongly requested to regularizethis on or before close of work on Monday the Feb. 11”.
“All political parties are reminded that Feb.16, is the last day for the submission of the names, photographs and specimensignatures of poll/party agents for the Governorship, State Assembly and AreaCouncil elections.
“Any list of poll/party agents that is notaccompanied by specimen signatures and photographs of poll/party agents will berejected”.
“It is unlawful for political parties todeploy poll/party agents whose names have not been forwarded to the Commissionand duly accredited in accordance with the law”.
“The security agents have been so informed andno recognition, right or privilege will be accorded to anyone not accredited bythe Commission,” he said.
“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.