Go court if you have issues with certificates submitted by Buhari-INEC tell Nigerians

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has advised Nigerians on what to do if they have issues with credentials submitted to it by President Muhammadu Buhari and other candidates contesting in the 2019 election.

He asked them to go to court to register their issues and challenge them legally.

He argued that one of the reason INEC published names of candidates and their claims was to enable those in disagreements to contest them in the appropriate quarters.

He stated this on Thursday while speaking on the publication of the details of all the 79 presidential candidates and 6,351 National Assembly contestants in next year’s elections.

Citing Section 31(3) of the Electoral Act as amended, he said, “Each candidate nominated by a political party is required to provide details of his/her personal particulars by personally completing the Form CF001 and to swear an affidavit at the Federal High Court, a High Court of a state or the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

“Within seven (7) days from the close of submission of these documents, the commission is required to publish the form in the constituencies that candidates seek to represent as required by Section 31(3) of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended).

“This will give the general public the opportunity to view the affidavits of personal particulars of those who aspire to represent them.

“Any person with a reasonable ground to believe that any information on Form CF001 submitted by a candidate contains incorrect or false claims is at liberty to file an action against such candidate at the Federal High Court or the High Court of a state or the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

“While the current exercise is limited to candidates for Presidential and National Assembly elections, the personal particulars of those contesting in Governorship and State Assembly elections will be similarly published on 9th November 2018, one week after the close of submission of nominations by political parties.”

He therefore urged the public to “seize this opportunity to view the personal details of the candidates that seek to represent them.”

Yakubu added, “The forms, as completed on oath by the candidates and submitted to the commission by their political parties, are photocopied and pasted in our state and local government offices nationwide.

“This is an opportunity for citizens to ascertain the personal details of the candidates to enable them take informed decisions on election day or even initiate legal action against candidates who they believe have made false claims on their forms.”

According to the INEC boss, the national register of voters to be used for the polls would be on display at the various polling units across the country between 6th -12th November, 2018.

This he said would allow voters check their names and point out errors if any.

”Although the commission has dutifully cleaned up the register using the Automatic Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS), it is the right of citizens under the law to examine the register and exercise their civic duty by drawing the attention of the commission to the prevalence of any ineligible persons so that together we can further clean it up,” he said.

“For emphasis, eligibility to register and vote in Nigeria is open only to citizens who have attained the mandatory age of eighteen (18) years and resident in the places they registered. Such citizens must also not register more than once.

“The commission will also appreciate the assistance of citizens in identifying deceased persons on the register so that such names can be nulled from our record. It is also an opportunity to correct misspellings of personal details such as names, age and gender,” he said.

Yakubu said that the country’s voter register is robust and also the largest data base of citizens in the country, containing names, photographs and biometric details.

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