UPDATED: INEC Postpones Gov’ship, State Assembly Elections By One Week

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has postponed the governorship and state assembly elections.

The electoral body has moved the polls by one week. It is now expected to hold on March 18. The decision was taken during a meeting of its national commissioners on Wednesday night.

Since the conclusion of the presidential and National Assembly polls, the electoral body has been in court over the application seeking to extract data embedded in the bimodal voter accreditation system (BVAS) and inspect other election materials.

Presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP) Peter Obi and that of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar had filed similar applications on the matter before the Court of Appeal.

They equally applied to obtain the certified true copy (CTC) of all the data in the BVAS.

However, the electoral body insisted that granting the request would affect its preparations for the forthcoming elections.

Counsel to the INEC, Tanimu Inuwa (SAN) asked the court to vary the orders which gave permission to Obi and Atiku to inspect all the sensitive materials used in the conduct of the presidential election.

But the court refused to grant INEC’s request, saying the commission failed to specify which of the orders it wished to vary.

The court also emphasised that it never granted Obi and LP permission to access the database of INEC as misconceived by the electoral body.

It clarified that what was granted was an order giving Obi and LP permission to do electronic scanning and/or make photocopies of voter registration, and ballot papers used in the conduct of the election.

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