INDEPENDENT National Electoral Commission (INEC) Chairman Prof. Mahmood Yakubu said his team has put in place measures to ensure a transparent, free and fair election in Anambra State.
He said his commission has not given up on the process for the recall of the Senator representing Kogi West, Dino Melaye.
He said the process was only being delayed by the court and the legal process initiated by Melaye.
Yakubu spoke in Abuja yesterday at a dialogue session with civil society organisations under the aegis of Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room.
He said INEC has learnt some lessons from the Melaye recall process and has now reviewed its regulations and guidelines to provide room for the participation of civil society organisations and other stakeholders.
Yakubu, who explained the seeming delay in the Melaye case, said: “These are legal processes. We cannot, as law-abiding agency, ignore the court and just proceed.
“Supposing we do so, proceed, conclude the process and the court nullifies it? So, we said we will continue to obey the law on this matter of recall. But I will not like to say more, because the matter is already before the court,” he said.
On the Anambra election, he said the commission will ensure that no opportunity was created for anyone to dispute the election, including the omission of candidate’s name and party’s logo.
Yakubu said: “The preparation we have put in place for Anambra is simply amazing. We have done all that needs to be done to ensure a successful outing. We have finished printing the voters’ register in triplicate. One in colour, two in black and white.
“I am telling you that in Anambra, there is no possibility of omitting the logo of any political party.
“And, we will supervise the processes to ensure that no logo is omitted in the course of printing or any of the processes leading to the delivery of the ballots.
“We have, as usual, customise the ballot papers. Each local government will have a different colour code. So, even if somebody wants to print his ballot paper, he doesn’t know which colour is for which local government.
“There is also a secret code, which only myself and the printer know. Nobody in the commission knows this.
“We have also customised the result sheets. It makes it easier because you have the names of the political parties, then the column for the raw figures, the figures in wards and signatures by the agents,” he said.
On the threat by IPOB to disrupt the election in Anambra, he said INEC was capable of countering the group’s propaganda, but would leave the issue to security agencies should the group resort to physically stopping voters from participating in the election.
Yakubu said the delay in the conduct of the rerun election in Anambra Central Senatorial District was because of the pending court case.
He hoped that since the Court of Appeal has reserved judgment in the case, INEC will conduct the election with the coming governorship and House of Assembly elections should the appellate court deliver judgment before the scheduled elections.
Coordinator of the Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room and Executive Director Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre (PLAC) said the dialogue session was meant to enable INEC educate Nigerians on its preparation for the Anambra election and related issues.