By Abimbola Ogunnaike
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has disclosed that it has fixed July 4 to August 5, 2023 for a post-elections review for the just-concluded 2023 polls.
The commission made the disclosure in a statement on Thursday, 22 June, 2023 by its spokesperson, Festus Okoye, saying the review will commence with a meeting of the Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) and end with the commission’s retreat.
The electoral umpire has been holding these review meetings after every general election since 2011.
According to Okoye, the review will focus on all aspects of the electoral activities before, during and after the elections.
Recall thatPresidential election was conducted on February 25, 2023 and INEC declared the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Bola Tinubu as the winner of the poll but two main challengers — Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP) and Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are presently in court to challenge the declaration by INEC, alleging various electoral malpractices, voters’ suppression, violence, the supposed inefficiency of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) and INEC Result Viewing Portal (IREV) as well as insisting that the poll was not free and fair.
Aside from the presidential poll, INEC conducted National Assembly elections for both lower and upper chambers. The electoral umpire also conducted governorship elections in 28 states with regular election cycles. The APC won in 16 states, the PDP in 10, the LP in one while the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) won a state. Some governorship election results are currently also being challenged at Tribunals in states.
The general elections weren’t without some drama and visible misconduct by some top INEC officials including the case of a suspended REC in Adamawa State, Hudu Yunusa-Ari, who attracted rebuke from the commission and scathing criticisms from Nigerians for improper and unconstitutional actions during the supplementary elections in Adamawa State.
INEC said it will review the lessons from the general elections and chart a way forward.
“The review will involve the Commission’s officials at National and State levels as well as stakeholders with a view to learning lessons and charting the way forward,” the commission said in the statement.