The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has revealed that the commission might have to adjust the activities of the Edo and Ondo states governorship elections due to the coronavirus pandemic but will continue to prepare for the activities of the Edo and Ondo states governorship elections.
Festus Okoye,the National Commissioner and Chairman Information and Voter Education Committee, informed all political parties, civil society groups and organizations concerned that most of the nominations and accreditations will be done online considering the challenges of the deadly virus.
However, INEC will rely on the constitutional empowerment to adjust the electoral timetable and schedule of activities for the two governorship elections as it is permissible under the Constitution.
“On February 6, 2020, INEC released an adjustable timetable and schedule of activities for the conduct of the Edo and Ondo governorship elections. By the said timetable, the Edo governorship election will take place on September 19, 2020 and that of Ondo State on October 10, 2020.
“As at February 6, 2020 when the Commission released the timetable for both elections, the impact, magnitude and far reaching implications of the COVID-19 pandemic had not really manifested. By section 178(2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) and section 25(7) and (8 of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended) an election to the office of governor of a State shall be held on a date not earlier than 150 days and not later than 30 days before the expiration of the term of office of the last holder of the office.
“Constitutionally, the tenure of the governor of Edo State expires on November 11, 2020 and that of Ondo State expires on February 23, 2021. By necessary constitutional implication, the earliest date for election into the office of governor of Edo, shall be June 15, 2020 and the latest date for the election shall be October 13, 2020. In the same vein, the earliest date for the election into the office of governor, Ondo shall be September 27, 2020 and the latest date shall be January 25, 2021.”