The Independent National Electoral Commission has budgeted over N3bn to defend the results of the February 25 presidential and national assembly election and the March 18 governorship and state assembly polls.
Several candidates who lost in the elections have filed petitions at the presidential and state election petition tribunals to challenge the outcome of the polls.
So far, over 100 election petitions have been filed by aggrieved candidates and their parties across the country.
The presidential candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar; the Labour Party, Peter Obi; the Action Alliance, Solomon Okangbuan; Allied People’s Movement, Chichi Ojei, have also filed petitions for the nullification of the presidential election results.
INEC had on March 1 declared the All Progressives Congress presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, as the winner of the February 25 presidential election, but the five candidates filed petitions seeking the nullification of the poll.
Also, election petition tribunals in over 12 states have equally received petitions from National Assembly candidates who are not satisfied with the results of the just concluded elections.
The states where the petitions had been received included Edo, Plateau, Ondo, Kwara, Ogun, Bayelsa, Oyo, Osun, Ekiti, Bauchi, Lagos and Niger states.
Some aggrieved candidates had protested in Ogun and Nasarawa states, vowing to challenge the results of the elections in court.
Last November, the INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu lamented that the commission was handling over 600 cases in several courts across the federation.
Speaking at a capacity-building workshop for over 300 judges that would handle election disputes, he revealed that the cases pending against the electoral body relate to the conduct of primaries by political parties.
However, INEC in its Election Project Plan for the 2023 general election earmarked N3b for the prosecution of election-related cases.
The document which was obtained on Sunday read, in part, “Litigation and prosecution: N2,104,965,000 (2022) and #3,087,195,425 (2023). Total, N5,192,160,425.’’
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