INEC warns against electoral misconduct


Delta State Resident Electoral Commissioner(REC) of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Rev. Monday Udoh Tom, has warned that the Commission will not hesitate to cancel the results of primary elections conducted under questionable circumstances.

Speaking at the INEC Consultative Meeting with political parties and Head of security agencies in Asaba, Rev Udoh said the decision became imperative to prevent a likely breakdown of law and order. According to Udoh, “we want peaceful primaries so that the other elections would be very easy.

When we have a turbulent primary, it makes the other elections very difficult. That is why we are calling this meeting to advise all political parties to carry their members along in the processes of congresses and primaries.

No one should be shut out; they should not give us a venue for the primaries then go to another location to do their primaries.”

He particularly warned against the practice of giving the electoral umpire a particular time for their shadow elections, only to reschedule it for midnight, “and expect INEC to accept their report. If INEC does not monitor what you do, we would write down our own report, we would not accept what they bring to us.”

He further stated that no plea of ignorance from political parties over the changes in the 2022 Electoral Act would be entertained because in his words, “you cannot just go to the field without knowing what you are supposed to do.

“If they (the political parties) are not aware, then it is not the fault of INEC. It would be their problem because they do not know what it entails to carry out a political assignment. “If the political parties fail to go through the Electoral Act as amended, there is going to be litigation, they will be found wanting because they did not do the right thing. The law is a respecter of no man.

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That is why APC suffered in Zamfara. “What happened in Zamfara during the 2019 general election is a good example; it is a case that everybody should look at. Why was their winning overturned in the favour of another party? It is because of a faulty congress and primaries.

If the foundation is faulty, the preceding elections would be faulty. “We are trying to ensure all primaries are faultless, so by the time there is litigation, we know it is the party that erred,” he asserted.

Meanwhile, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Saad Ibrahim, who represented, Commissioner of Police, Delta State Command, CP Ali Muhammed Ari, declared that there would be zero tolerance for those who set out to disrupt primaries of any political party.

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