The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said it would display personal particulars and academic qualifications of candidates in the forthcoming governorship election in Edo State for citizens to scrutinise for false information.
The same step would be taken in the governorship election in Ondo.
The chairman of INEC, Mahmood Yakubu, who stated this on Friday in Abuja during a meeting with resident electoral commissioners, said the electoral law requires the commission to take such step.
“This will enable citizens to scrutinise them and take legal action against any candidate who provides false information to the Commission,” Mr Yakubu said.
Mr Yakubu said the failure of political parties to observe due diligence in the screening of their candidates lately has resulted in “protracted litigations and eventual determination of the outcome of elections by orders of court”.
“The personal particulars of candidates will be displayed on 6th July 2020 in Edo State and on 4th August 2020 in Ondo State. I wish to appeal to citizens to note the dates and to seize the opportunity to scrutinise the information provided on oath by the candidates in the interest of our democracy and good governance,” he said.
Party primaries and nomination of candidates for the Edo governorship election is to hold from June 2 to 27, according to the timetable released by INEC, while Ondo is from July 2 to 25.
Mr Yakubu, who said the commission would not extend the dates for the primaries and nomination of candidates, advised political parties in the two states “to do more to avoid the conduct of acrimonious primaries”.
“We will rigorously monitor the primaries and where necessary, apply sanctions as provided by law,” he said.
Mr Yakubu said INEC is going to introduce critical changes to strengthen the commission’s processes and procedures, including the deployment of security, beginning with the Edo and Ondo elections.
“The Commission has been studying the judgements of courts arising from the conduct of recent elections. We have also been reviewing the reports from accredited observers as well as internal reports from our State Offices. We will continue to keep an eye on the conduct of our officials and apply appropriate sanctions on erring staff, both regular and ad-hoc,” he said.