Mahmood Yakubu, Chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), said one of the major challenges of the electoral body was failure of political parties to properly conduct primary elections.
Yakubu made this known at the second annual conference of Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) on “Internal Party Democracy: A Recipe to a Sustainable Democracy in Nigeria’’ on Tuesday in Abuja.
He said that 80 elections were nullified by the courts after the 2015 general elections, while 37 others were also nullified with order on INEC to issue certificates of return to the petitioners.
Yakubu said that the commission has studied the various judgments and discovered that most of the elections were upturned due to the failure of political parties to conduct proper primaries or follow the outcome.
He admitted that though INEC has no power to reject any candidate presented to it by a political party, the court has been playing the role.
The courts according to him, have been nullifying elections at the expense of the country to conduct re-run elections that should not have been nullified if party primaries were properly conducted.
Yakubu, therefore, urged political parties to ensure that their primaries were properly conducted in accordance with the provisions of the law.
“Some of the re-run elections are at great expense of the nation. We can save cost if parties truly conduct primaries.
“In addition to proper primaries, parties should also comply with the requirements of the law. I am appealing to parties to be guided by certain judgments of the Supreme Court.’’
He said building a strong democracy started with political parties, who were responsible for sponsoring candidates for elections.