The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has issued a 24-hour ultimatum to political parties to submit the correct details of polling agents that will participate in the 2019 elections.
According to the commission, the original deadline was February 1, 2019. However, at the time, only a few political parties had submitted details of their representatives. In some cases, some parties submitted the wrong data.
As a result, after a meeting with Resident Electoral Commissioners over the weekend, Festus Okoye, the INEC National Commissioner, Information and Voter Education Committee, issued a statement, giving the political parties till Monday, February 11, 2019, to comply.
The statement read: “The Commission in its Timetable and Schedule of Activities for this year’s General Election 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.
“The Commission is 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 a 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 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 regularise this on or before the close of work on Monday, the 11th February 2019.
"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 rejected. It is unlawful for political parties to deploy poll/party agents whose names have not been forwarded to the Commission and duly accredited in accordance with the law.
"The security agents have been so informed and no recognition, right or privilege will be accorded to anyone not accredited by the Commission.”