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BREAKING: Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC defends 2023 polls, says 712 petitions dismissed

The Independent National Electoral Commission has said 891 petitions out of 1,196 on the 2023 polls have so far been either dismissed or withdrawn.

It said the loss of 74.4 per cent of the petitions confirmed the credibility of the elections it conducted.

It released a status report on the outcome of petitions it was in receipt of in connection with the presidential, governorship, national and state House of Assembly elections to confirm the credibility of the last general elections.

INEC said it cannot be held responsible for re-election petitions which arise from party primaries.

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The National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Mr. Sam Olumekun, in a statement on Thursday said, “Out of 1,196 petitions, 712 were dismissed and 179 withdrawn. This means that in 891 cases (74.4 per cent), the tribunal found no merit in the petitions and affirmed the result of the elections conducted by INEC.

“It is surprising how the mere filing of petitions constitutes a blot on the integrity of the recent elections conducted by INEC when in fact they constitute an integral part of the democratic process.”

The statement said, “As of Monday, October 16, 2023, out of 82 governorship election petitions, 72 (87.8%) were either dismissed or withdrawn by the petitioners.

“For senatorial elections, 146 petitions were filed, out of which 100 (68.5 per cent) were dismissed or withdrawn.

“For the House of Representatives, 413 petitions were filed out of which 309 (74.81 per cent) were dismissed or withdrawn while for State Houses of Assembly, 550 petitions were filed out of which 468 (82.4 per cent) were dismissed or withdrawn.

“A comparative analysis would have addressed the deliberate effort in the report to portray the 2023 General Election as regressive on account of litigation without empirical evidence.”

INEC said it was misleading to claim that 94 per cent of the elections it conducted failed.

“The said report analysed the total number of petitions as if they were filed against the outcome of the election in 94% of all the elective positions without considering details of the cases.

“Multiple petitions were filed by candidates and political parties as petitioners in a single constituency. For example, in one state in the South-South geopolitical zone of the country, eight petitions were filed challenging the governorship election out of which seven were dismissed and one withdrawn,” the INEC official added..….CONTINUE.FULL.READING>>>

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