The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has allocated more than N3 billion to defend the results of the 25 February presidential and parliamentary elections and the 18 March gubernatorial and parliamentary elections.
Recall that some of the candidates who lost the election have filed petitions at the presidential and state election petition tribunals to challenge the outcome of the conducted polls.
To date, more than 100 election motions have been filed by disgruntled candidates and their parties across the country.
People’s Democratic Party presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar, Labour Party, Peter Obi, Action Alliance, Solomon Ocambuan, The United People’s Movement, Father Kingship, also filed a petition to annul the results of the presidential election.
INEC declared on March 1, All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate Bola Tinubu the winner of the February 25 presidential election, but five candidates filed a petition requesting the nullification of the polls.
Additionally, electoral courts in more than a dozen states have likewise received petitions from candidates of the National Assembly dissatisfied with the results of the elections just concluded.
States that received the petition include Edo, Plateau, Ondo, Kwara, Ogun, Bayelsa, Oyo, Osun, Ekiti, Bauchi, Lagos and Niger.
In Ogun and Nasarawa states, disgruntled candidates staged protests after vowing to challenge the election results in court.
Last November, INEC chairman Mahmoud Yakub complained that the commission had handled more than 600 cases in multiple courts across the federation.
However, INEC has designated N3 billion for the prosecution of election-related cases in its Electoral Project Plan for the 2023 general election.
Some documents obtained on Sunday read in part, “Litigation and prosecution: N2,104,965,000 (2022) and #3,087,195,425 (2023) Total, N5,192,160,425.’’Total N5,192,160,425.”
The INEC Election Project Plan also indicates that the Election Commission will budget N886.2 million for the drafting and approval of legislation in 2022 and N548.7 million in 2023.
9jamedia was unable to confirm how many attorneys the Electoral Commission will employ to handle the numerous election motions filed in court.
Rotimi Oyekanmi, chief spokesperson for the INEC chairman, said he did not know how many lawyers the commission would employ when asked on Sunday.