Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmoud Yukubu, (INEC), has disclosed that about 680 politicians dragged the electoral body to court immediately after the 2015 elections
He however said that 580 of the cases were dismissed by the tribunals and Court of Appeal.
Yakubu also decried the cost of conducting re-run elections ordered by the courts.
He spoke at a National Conference for Justices of the Court of Appeal and Election Petition Tribunal Judges with the theme “2015 Election Petition Tribunals and Appeals” in Abuja.
He said it was more challenging to manage re-run elections arising from candidates’ disqualification.
According to him, while it is appreciated that the courts treat each case on its merits, certain trends point to conflicting judgments on similar cases by different Judicial Division of the Court of Appeal.
He said there were instances where elections were nullified and INEC was ordered to conduct a re-run simply for the sake of conducting elections in a specific polling unit.
Yakubu said after wasting time and resources, the outcome of such election did not make any material difference to the original result declared by INEC which made substantial compliance with the Electoral Act.
He cited the case of Lafia/Obi Federal Constituency in Nasarawa State, where Appeal Court ordered INEC to conduct a re-run in Angwan Doka Polling Unit 004 with just over 1,000 registered voters.
He said the candidate declared winner by INEC in the 2015 General election pooled over 74, 000 votes while the runner-up had a little over 70,000 votes.
Mahmoud said the number of registered voters in the polling unit could not have altered the result in any way and even the voters were aware of the reality.
“When INEC conducted a re-run election in that polling unit only 25 voters turned up to cast their votes and the election which has no utilitarian value cost the nation N3.2 million,” he said.