INEC to present new senators, reps certificates of return Thursday

INEC chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu speaking during the formal opening of the 2019 presidential and National Assembly elections Result Collation Centre, in Abuja on Sunday (24/2/19). 01726/24/2/2019/BJO/NAN
INEC chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) will present certificates of return to the newly-elected members of the National Assembly next Thursday.

The chairman of the commission, Mahmood Yakubu, disclosed this at a meeting of INEC with the Inter-Agency Consultative on Election Security (ICCES).

The meeting held at the conference hall of the commission’s headquarters in Abuja.

“The Commission will issue their certificates of return next week,” Mr Yakubu said.

“Next week Thursday, by 10 a.m, senators-elect will be given their certificate while members of the House of Representatives-elect will receive theirs by 2 p.m.”

The ceremony will take place at the International Conference Centre (ICC), Abuja.

The commission said in fixing the date for the event, it took into consideration the preparations for the governorship elections and the fact that elected candidates are also busy campaigning in their constituencies for the remaining elections.

On Saturday, Nigerians will return to the poll for the second time in two weeks to elect governors in 29 states and members of all the state Houses of Assembly.
The chairmen and councillors for the six Area Councils in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) will also be elected on the day.

On the first day of this year’s general elections penultimate Saturday, voters across the country elected the president and members of the National Assembly.

The commission said it has learned from the experience of the Presidential and National Assembly elections and has effectively tackled the challenge of logistics.

“Materials for the election have been delivered to all states and the FCT. Movement to the local government areas will be completed today,” Mr Yakubu said.

“By tomorrow, all materials and relevant personnel will arrive at the Registration Area Centres (RACs). With this arrangement, we are confident that all polling units will open at 8.00 am nationwide.”

On Saturday, INEC will also conduct supplementary elections in seven senatorial districts and 24 federal constituencies in 14 states.

Elections in the affected areas on February 23 were disrupted mainly by acts of violence involving ballot box snatching, abduction of INEC officials, over voting and the failure to adhere to regulations and guidelines.

The commission said the number of registered voters in the polling units involved in each constituency was more than the votes received by the candidate with the highest number of votes.

“Supplementary elections must, therefore, be conducted to determine the winners,” the commission said.

Mr Yakubu said the commission will present the certificates of return to the governors and deputy-governors-elect, members of state Houses of Assembly-elect and chairmen and councillors for the FCT shall be presented in each state by the Supervising National Commissioners and the Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) after the elections.

“A date will be announced next week,” the INEC boss said.

INEC thanked security agencies and said the Commission will work closely with the police to ensure the diligent prosecution of all violators of the electoral laws.

“While we look forward to the same cooperation with the security agencies, I am confident that lessons learnt from the Presidential and National Assembly elections will help us to more effectively secure the environment for the elections this weekend.

“I am confident that working together with the security agencies, we will consolidate on the largely peaceful conduct of the Presidential and National Assembly elections while also taking decisive steps to deal with the minority of violators intent on disrupting the conduct of peaceful elections.”

The commission said it will not tolerate holding its officials hostage and making them declare winners under duress.

Where such occurs, the Commission said it would not reward bad behaviour by issuing them Cthe certificates of return.

Also for the Saturday elections, the Commission said it will still maintain its Situation Room at the International Conference Centre (ICC) to monitor the elections nationwide and respond to issues that may arise.

No election results will be collated and no declaration of winners will be done at the ICC as all collation and declaration of results will be done at the various constituency and State declaration centres.

The Situation Room will be open from Friday, March 8 to Wednesday, March 13.

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