The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof Attahiru Jega, said on Tuesday that presidential run-off would have led to crisis in the country.
He therefore said there was the need to amend the nation’s electoral laws, which he said provided for just seven days after the first election to hold a run-off.
Jega spoke during a dialogue session with Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room in Abuja, where he insisted that there were several lacuna in the amended Electoral Act.
He said this was why the incoming administration should not wait till 2019 general elections before reviewing the Electoral Act.
Jega said he was full of joy when the March 28 Presidential poll did not result into a run-off.
He said there was no way INEC could have successfully conducted the run-off within seven days as provided for in both the constitution and the Electoral Act.
He said, “I heaved a heavy sigh of relief when the election did not result in a run-off. That would have occasioned a big constitutional crisis.
“This is in view of the fact that the constitution only makes provision for seven days for such poll. You and I know that there was no way we would have been able to conduct a run-off within seven days.
“This is why I emphasise that amendments to the electoral laws should be done in good time. We could have further sanitised the electoral process if we had gotten some of the amendments we required in the Electoral Act.”
Meanwhile, Jega and over 60 Civil Society Organisations have disagreed on the credibility of the Rivers State governorship election.
While the CSOs, under the aegis of the Nigerian Civil Society Situation Room, said the elections in Rivers, Abia and Akwa Ibom States were “lacking in credibility and fraught with irregularities”, Jega said “there is no evidence before the commission as it relates to election irregularities in Rivers State.”
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