Hey there! So, the Independent National Electoral Commission, also known as INEC, is pretty happy with how the 2023 general elections went. They say this because of what’s happening in the election tribunals.
Here’s the deal: after the elections, people filed a bunch of petitions, which are like complaints, about the results. But guess what? The tribunals, which are like special courts for election issues, have been dismissing a lot of these petitions. In fact, out of 1,196 petitions, 712 were dismissed and 179 were withdrawn. That means in 891 cases, or 74.4% of the time, the tribunals said the petitions had no merit and agreed with INEC’s election results.
Mr. Sam Olumekun, who is a big shot at INEC, said all this in response to a report that said INEC’s credibility was hurt because 94% of the contested posts were being challenged at the tribunals. But Olumekun said that report got some things wrong. He explained that there were actually 1,491 constituencies where elections took place, not just 1,280 like the report said. These constituencies included things like the Presidential, Governorship, Senatorial, House of Representatives, and State Assembly constituencies.
Olumekun also wanted to make it clear that INEC shouldn’t be blamed for problems that happen before the elections, like issues with political parties’ primary elections. He said those are intra-party cases, which means they’re problems within the party, and INEC doesn’t have control over them. So, it’s not fair to blame INEC for those things.
He also pointed out that sometimes people file petitions for really silly reasons and then later withdraw them or the tribunals dismiss them. So, just because there are a lot of petitions doesn’t mean the elections were bad. In fact, filing petitions is a normal part of the democratic process.