INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu. Source: Channels TV

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has been dragged to court more than 1,600 times in relation to the 2019 general elections.

This was according to the commission’s chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, who stated this on Saturday after receiving an award for excellence from the Kaduna State chapter of the National Institute of Public Relations (NIPR).

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He noted that most of the cases stemmed from acrimonious political party primaries.

According to him, “we can have an election that is free, but elections start from party primaries because they produce the candidates for the general election. However, before the last general elections, we had some of the most acrimonious party primaries in the history of elections in Nigeria, resulting in a large number of litigations.

“As we speak, INEC has been dragged to court 809 times over the conduct of primaries by political parties. If you add that to the post-election litigations, we have so far been dragged to court over 1,600 times. So, we have been dragged to court over party primaries, the suits challenging the conduct of the election.

“That notwithstanding, elections can be free and fair; we are doing our best as an electoral commission, but INEC has its responsibilities clearly cut out, others have theirs, especially the political parties have theirs. But, working together, we will actually get to where we desire to be,” he said.