*84 political associations seeks registration as parties
The Indepedent National Electoral Commission has announced February 16, 2019 as the date for the next Presidential election in the country.
The INEC National Commissioner in charge South West, Solomon Soyebi, who made disclosure during a press briefing in Abuja on Thursday.
Also the electoral body on Thursday said also fixed the governorship/state assembly/Federal Capital Territory Area Council elections for Saturday, March 2, 2019.
He said: “In Nigeria, the constitution provides for elections to hold not earlier than 150 days and not later than 30 days to the end of the incumbent’s tenure.
“In order to ensure certainty in our dates for elections, and to allow for proper planning by the commission, political parties, security agencies, candidates and all stakeholders, the commission has decided to fix the date for the national elections for the third Saturday in February of the election year, followed by state elections two weeks later.
“To that extent, the 2019 Presidential and National Assembly elections will hold on Saturday, February 16, 2019, while the governorship/state Assembly/Federal Capital Territory Area Council Elections will hold on Saturday, March 2, 2019.”
23 indicted officials arraigned, placed on half salary INEC added that following the arraignment of 23 of its officials who were indicted by the report of a probe panel on the Rivers State rerun elections, it has decided to place the officials on half salary in line with relevant regulations.
Soyebi said: “The commission has also received a report from the Director of Public Prosecution, DPP, of the federation, informing us that 23 electoral officers indicted over the investigation into the December 10 Rivers re-run elections have been charged to court.
“The commission has repeatedly said that it will cooperate with security agencies for the prosecution of any of our staff found to have violated the integrity of the electoral process. ‘’The penalty for this is interdiction.
All the 23 electoral officers will be placed on half salary and will not report for duty pending the determination of their respective cases by the court.”
Soyebi also added that no fewer than 84 political associations were now seeking registration as political parties. He disclosed that the Advanced Peoples Democratic Party, APDP, is one of such associations but declined to name its sponsors.