INEC National Commissioner Ishmael Igbani said on Thursday that the NGO’s that applied for election monitoring in the July 14, Edo governorship election were disqualified because they did not meet up with INEC criteria.
Igbani, who is the chairman , Election Monitoring and Observation Committee, made this known tothe News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja .
He said the criteria included previous experience in similar exercise anywhere in the World or within Nigeria, registration of the NGO with the Cooperate Affairs Commission, and other statures.
Igbani said that application could be rejected if submitted after the deadline for submission or when applications submitted were incomplete, inaccurate or submitted by an ineligible body.
He said that applications could also be rejected when the eligible body does not meet the conditions provided for in relevant INEC regulations, procedures or the Code of Conduct.
Igbani added that even after a body had been accredited such accreditation could be revoked in the event that the accredited name was repeated in any of the accreditation list of observers or in the event if he/she failed to fulfil the conditions provided in this document or in the Code of Conduct or less than 18 years old.
``There was no hide and seek game in this exercise any NGO not qualified to monitor the election will not be accredited, don’t forget this has to do with security, transparency and free and fair election.
``The Nigerian Bar Association, Transition monitoring groups and more than 15 other Non Governmental Organisations were accredited to monitor the election.
He said there was no discrimination in the exercise as it was made open for all the eligible NGO’s that had the requirements.
Igbani said the major challenge was the security aspects of the election, but INEC had proffered adequate security to ensure protection of lives and property.
He said INEC had trained the supervisory presiding officers and also the presiding officers had been trained for the election.
``We are going to perform another feat in Edo, but the rest is left for the politicians to perform their own part.
``INEC is ready to do the election fairly and transparently for everybody to see, with nothing to hide, but the political parties must make it possible for peace to reign.
Igbani said the Commission had concluded a special training for personnel who would work as supervisory, presiding officers for the election.
NAN recalled that some NGO’s had queried the yardstick employed by INEC to pick the 22 election monitors groups so far approved. (NAN)