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Published On: Fri, Jun 26th, 2020

Edo/Ondo guber: INEC begs NBA members to put nation’s interest first

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By Lateef Ibrahim, Abuja

Ahead of the forthcoming Edo and Ondo governorship elections, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has appealed to the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) to impress on senior members of the Bar to put the country’s interest and the judiciary above every other interest.
The Commission made the appeal sequel to what it call the spate and rapidity of conflicting court orders, mostly obtained ex-parte, involving substantially the same parties on the same or similar grounds and from courts of coordinate jurisdiction on issues and challenges around the administration of political parties and conduct of party primaries.
The Commission made the appeal in a statement yesterday by its National Commissioner and Chairman,
Information and Voter Education Committee, Mr Festus Okoye in Abuja.
The Prof Mahmood Yakubu-led INEC specifically advised that members of the bar not to allow personal considerations to outweigh their commitment to the profession, the rule of law and due process.
It insisted that It is in the best interest of the Bar and the Bench not to do anything that would bring them into disrepute.
However, the Commission stated its commitment to obeying all court orders, adding, “but the speed, frequency and conflicting nature of the Orders leave it in an awkward and impossible position”.
According to the statement by Okoye, “The Commission is worried about the spate and rapidity of conflicting Court Orders mostly obtained ex-parte involving substantially the same parties, on the same or similar grounds and from courts of coordinate jurisdiction on issues and challenges around the administration of political parties and conduct of party primaries.
“Some of the Orders were obtained from Courts completely removed from the geographical area where the course of action arose.
“The Commission is committed to obeying all court orders, but the speed, frequency and conflicting nature of the Orders leave it in an awkward and impossible position.
“We urge the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) to impress on senior members of the Bar to put the country’s interest and the judiciary above every other interest and not allow personal considerations to outweigh their commitment to the profession, the rule of law and due process. It is in the best interest of the Bar and the Bench not to do anything that would bring them into disrepute.
“These calls have become necessary to draw attention to the uncertainties and threats posed by conflicting orders on not only preparations for elections and but also to the growth and development of our democracy”, it said.
The Commission equally revealed that it will test run its policy on conducting elections in the context of the COVID-19 Pandemic in the Nasarawa Central State Constituency of Nasarawa State to fill the vacancy created by the death of Hon. Adamu Suleiman Ibrahim, member representing the Constituency.

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