Politics

We spent between N3 million and N4.5 million on court cases from 2019 elections – INEC Chairman

The Independent National Electoral commission (INEC) has said it spends between N3 million and N4.5 million on 1,700 court cases from 2019 elections.

The Commission’s Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, made this known while defending its 2021 budget estimate at the Senate Committee on Wednesday. 

He said, “each time anyone goes to court, INEC is joined, but we have to hire lawyers to defend us.

“We are not paying fantastic fee, we are applying the federal ministry of justice scale of fees.

“If for instance, you have a case for governorship election before the Supreme Court, it’s a maximum of N4.5 million but others could be as low as N3 million.

“We are almost getting close to 1,700 pre-election and post-election cases in 2019 alone, and every day you hear people going to court and joining INEC.

“We will continue to do what we can within available resources.”

However, despite these many court cases, the commission had to cut its estimated budget from N45.5 billion in 2019 to N40 billion in 2020. This cut is due to COVID-19 that has affected the nation’s economic power. 

Yakubu said the agency will make up for the short by withdrawing the N5.2 billion shortage from the INEC funds established in 2010.

Recall that President Muhammadu Buhari on Oct 27, 2020 reappointed Professor Mahmood Yakubu as Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission.

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