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INEC official gives condition for change of election schedule

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said that it will implement the amended Electoral Act if it is assented to by President Muhammadu Buhari.
INEC National Commissioner, Voter Education and Publicity, Mr. Solomon Soyebi, said this during his appearance on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily.
The Senate had on Wednesday adopted the conference committee report on the Electoral Act 2010 (Amendment) Bill, which alters the sequence in which elections are conducted in the country.
Presidential and National Assembly elections have always held (on the same day) before other polls, while the governorship and State Houses of Assembly elections follow.
But the lawmakers have amended the sequence such that the National Assembly polls would be conducted first, followed by the state lawmakers, and the governors while the presidential election should take place last.
Asked if the amendment can be implemented by INEC in the 2019 general elections, Soyebi said: “Unfortunately, yes, if the amendment becomes a law now.
“If it’s assented to by the President, it becomes a law. We have no basis to disobey the law; we have to work within the law as it is.”
The INEC National Commissioner also reacted to speculations that the electoral body intends to file a legal suit to challenge the adoption by the Senate, saying “there is no iota of truth in that.”
He said the commission operates within the ambit of the law, noting that it would be difficult for the electoral body to challenge the law when it is bounded by it.
“Everybody has a role to play in the governance of Nigeria, ours is just to conduct elections and we have nothing to do with the making of the law. So, if the law is made today, we are just there to obey it,” he said.
Soyebi, however, said in some cases, INEC can challenge any frivolous court order if it feels unsatisfied with it, but not the law.
He further recommended that all elections should be conducted the same day, as it is in some developed countries, stressing that it can also be achieved in Nigeria.

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