The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has warned registered parties to submit the names and appropriate details of their poll agents for the governorship election within the given time limit.
This was contained in a statement signed by Festus Okoye, the national commissioner and chairman, information and voter education.
This decision, according to the statement, was from INEC’s meeting with Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) from all the 36 States of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory on Friday in Abuja.
“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.”
According to section 45 (1) of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended), each political party should 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.
This is to contain the name and address of the polling agent, accompanied with two passport photographs of each polling agent and sample signature of the polling agent.
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This should be given to the electoral officer at least 14 days before the date for the election.
This warning is coming amidst concern by the commission that a week after the deadline for the submission of the list of poll agents for presidential and national assembly elections, only a few parties have complied.
The commission noted that out of the few submitted, 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, in its timetable for the election, fixed February 1 as the last date for the submission of the poll agent names for the Presidential and National Assembly Elections and February 16 for the governorship elections.
It is now less than three weeks to the deadline for the submission of poll agents for the governorship and state assembly elections.
Following this warning, the commission asked all political parties that submitted incomplete applications without the specimen signatures and photographs of the poll/party agents to regularise this, on or before the close of work on Monday, February 11.
INEC also said any list of poll agents not accompanied by specimen signatures and photographs will be rejected.
According to the commission, it is unlawful for political parties to deploy poll agents whose names have not been forwarded to the Commission and duly accredited in accordance with the law.
In line with this, the commission said it has informed security agents so no recognition, right or privilege will be accorded to anyone not accredited by the commission.