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The independent National Electoral Commission
(INEC) has threatened to bar some parties that fail to meet Deadline says they
risk Non inclusion of fielding party agents in the coming Saturday’s elections
INEC boss INEC spoke, yesterday to newsmen,
against the backdrop that most of the 72 parties participating in the general
elections had missed the deadline to submit the list of polling agents by one
week. “We are concerned that a week after the deadline for the submission of
the list of poll agents for Presidential and National Assembly elections and
less than three weeks to the deadline for the submission of the list of
candidates for the Governorship and State Assembly elections, only few
political parties have complied with the extant provisions of the law.

Most of the lists submitted are not
accompanied by the photographs and specimen signatures of the poll/party agents
as required by law”, the Commission said.
Festus Okoye, National Commissioner and
Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee of INEC, who disclosed
this, said the decision was taken after a meeting with Resident Electoral
Commissioners (RECs) from all the 36 States of the Federation and the Federal
Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja on Friday to further review the
Commission’s  state of readiness for the general elections.
According to him, at the end of the meeting,
the Commission decided to draw the attention of the registered political
parties and members of the public to the provisions of the law regarding the
submission of names of polling/party agents by political parties. Section 45
(1) of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) provides that  each political
party may, by notice in writing addressed to the Electoral Officer of the Local
Government Area or Area Council, appoint a polling agent for each polling unit
and collation centre in the Local Government Area or Area Council for which it
has a candidate and the notice, which  sets out the name and address of
the polling agent shall be accompanied by two passport photographs of each
polling agent and sample signature of the polling agent  and be given to
the Electoral Officer at least 14 days before the date fixed for the election.
The Section further provides that no person
presently serving as Chairman or member of a Local Government or Area Council,
Commissioner of a State, Deputy Governor, or Governor of a State, Minister or
any other person holding political office under any tier of Government and who
has not resigned his appointment at least 3 months before the election shall
serve as a polling agent of any political party, either at the polling unit or
at any center designated for collation of results of election.
Okoye said INEC, in its timetable and
schedule of activities for the general elections published on January 9, 2018,
fixed February 1, 2019 as the last date for the submission of  the names,
two passport photographs of each polling agent and their sample signatures for
the presidential and National Assembly Elections and February 16, 2019.
Commission has decided as follows:  All political parties that submitted
incomplete applications without the specimen signatures and photographs of the
poll/party agents are strongly requested to regularize this on or before close
of work on Monday, February 11, 2019”, the National Commissioner said. “All
Political Parties are reminded that February 16, 2019 is the last day for the
submission of the names, photographs and specimen signatures of poll/party
agents for the Governorship, State Assembly and Area Council elections.

 “Any list of poll/party agents that is not
accompanied by specimen signatures and photographs of poll/party agents will be

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