By Emmanuel Oloniruha
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has announced Feb. 12, 2022 as the dates for the conduct of elections into the six area Councils of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Mr Festus Okoye, INEC National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, who released the timetable in Abuja, on Wednesday, said the election would be for the offices of chairmen of six area councils and 62 councillorship seats in the FCT, whose tenure would expire in May 2022.
He said that the date was one of decisions reached at the Wednesday meeting of the Commission amidst other where wide ranging issues discussed.
Okoye explained that other issues discussed included the issuance of the timetable and schedule of activities for the conduct of FCT Councils’ election, the only local government polls that INEC conducts.
He disclosed that the collection of Forms EC9 (Formerly CF001) and EC9B (Formerly CF002) for the election would commence on April 1, while the conduct of party primaries and resolution of disputes arising from the primaries would hold between April 1 and April 24, 2021.
“The personal particulars of the candidates will be published on June 5 and the parties will commence campaigns on Nov.14,” Okoye said, adding that the final list of nominated candidates would be published on Jan. 11, 2022.
He said by virtue of Section 108 (1) & (3) and 113 (1) (a) & (b) of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) election into all Area Councils should be held same date and time throughout the FCT.
“This shall take place not earlier than 150 days before and not later than 30 days before the expiration of the term of office of the last holder of that office.
“By section 113 of the Electoral Act, an Area Council shall stand dissolved at the expiration of a three year period.
“Starting from the date the Chairman took the Oath of Office, or when the legislative arm of the Council was inaugurated whichever is earlier,” he said.
Okoye recalled that the six chairmen and the councilors of the area councils were elected on March 9, 2019 and sworn in on May 19, 2019
“By paragraph 1© of the Commissions Guidelines and Regulations, where the end of the tenure of a council did not coincide with a general election year, the election will hold on Saturday closest to 100 days.
“The 100 days must be to the end of the tenure of the elected officials of the area councils.
“In the exercise of the powers conferred on it by the Constitution, the Electoral Act and other powers enabling it in that regard, the Commission has fixed Feb.12 2022 for FCT area councils election.
“Consequently, the Commission hereby issues the Timetable and Schedule of Activities for the election,” he said.
Okoye enjoined all the registered political parties to pay close attention to the timelines and schedule of activities outlined in the timetable and schedule of activities.
He also advised political parties to conduct credible primaries that guarantee a level playing field for all aspirants to avoid any litigation.
He urged them to observe due diligence on all forms and documents that would be submitted to the Commission. (NAN)