The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has allocated more than N3 billion to defend the results of the presidential and national assembly elections held on February 25 and the gubernatorial and state assembly elections held on March 18.
This is because up to one hundred unsuccessful candidates have filed petitions with the presidential and state election petition tribunals to contest the results of the vote.
Atiku Abubakar, candidate for president of the Peoples Democratic Party; Peter Obi, candidate for president of the Labour Party; Solomon Okangbuan, candidate for president of the Action Alliance; and Chichi Ojei, candidate for president of the Allied People’s Movement, have all filed petitions for the nullification of the presidential election results.
INEC proclaimed Bola Tinubu, the presidential candidate for the All Progressives Congress, the winner of the February 25 presidential election on March 1, while the other five candidates filed lawsuits trying to invalidate the election.
Meanwhile, election petition courts in over 12 states have received applications from National Assembly candidates who are unhappy with the results of the most recent elections.
States that had received petitions were Edo, Plateau, Ondo, Kwara, Ogun, Bayelsa, Oyo, Osun, Ekiti, Bauchi, Lagos, and Niger.
Several dissatisfied candidates demonstrated in Ogun and Nasarawa states, pledging to challenge the election results in court.
In November of last year, the INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, bemoaned the fact that the commission was addressing over 600 cases in courts throughout the nation.
During a capacity-building session for more than 300 judges who will handle election disputes, he said that the current lawsuits against the electoral authority involve the conduct of political party primaries.
In its Election Project Plan for the general election of 2023, INEC allocated N3 billion for the prosecution of election-related offences.
The paper received on Sunday included the following information: “Litigation and prosecution: N2,104,965,000 (2022) and $3,087,195,425.” (2023). Overall, N5,192,160,425.”