INEC announces dates for Ekiti, Osun governorship polls
By Vincent Ikuomola
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has announced April and September 2018 dates for governorship polls in Ekiti and Osun states.
The tenure of Ekiti incumbent governor, Ayodele Fayose and his Osun state counterpart, Rauf Aregbesola would end on Oct 15, 2018 and November 28, 2018, respectively.
According to the timetable released on Thursday in Abuja by the electoral body, the Ekiti and Osun elections would hold on July 14th and September 22, 2018, respectively.
Based on the timetable any run off election would be held within seven days after the announcement of result in line with relevant laws.
The timetable for the polls was signed by the Commission’s secretary, Mrs Augusta Ogakwu.
According to the timetable, INEC is expected to issue notice for the Ekiti election on April 4, 2018, which is not later than 90 days before the election. Political campaigns would commence on April 15 while collection of forms by political parties for issuance to candidates would come a day after.
Political primaries and resolution of disputes arising from such was slated for 15April-14 May, 2018.
Notice of election was fixed for 23rd June 2018 while campaign for the Osun state government house would start on June 25, 2018.
Collection of forms for the Osun election has been fixed for June 25th, while primaries and resolution of arising disputes must be conducted between June 24- July 23rd, 2018.
Speaking on the dates, INEC National Commissioner and Chairman Information and Voter Education Committee, Prince Solomon Soyebi said INEC was guided by the provisions of section 178(1)and (2) of the 1999 constitution as amended, and section 25(7) and (8) of the electoral Act,2010 in arriving at the dates.n
He also restated the Commission’s earlier warning to intending aspirants and their parties that the release of dates for elections did not amount to notice for campaigns for votes. He further warned that parties which infringed on provisions of the Electoral Act as amended would be sanctioned.
“Anybody who deviates from the Electoral guidelines by engaging in public campaign ahead of the date for commencement of campaign is committing electoral offence and will be prosecuted.
“All political parties and their candidates are hereby enjoined to cooperate with us,” Soyebi said.