INEC with Support from the European Centre for Electoral Support (ECES) organised a two-day training for INEC legal officers and police officers in Enugu. The training takes place on 6 & 7 August 2018 at the Nike Lake Resorts, Nike Lake Road, Abakpa, Enugu, Enugu State, Nigeria was funded by the European Union through the Support to Democratic Governance in Nigeria (EU-SDGN) programme.

The conduct of this training, sought to boost the confidence of the legal officers and positively reposition them in the handling of election petitions and frontloading of evidence is, therefore, a step in the right direction. The legal officers have the primary responsibility of ensuring that elections and indeed other activities of the Commission are conducted in a way consistent with existing laws through proper interpretation and application of the rules. Presentations and deliberations at the training aimed at keeping participants abreast of best global best practices in electoral law and place them in a vantage position to professionally render valuable legal services to the Commission.

The topics addressed at the trainings are purposefully relevant to strengthening the institutional capacity of INEC to address legal issues. The presentations are Election Dispute Resolution and Best Practices, Strength and Weaknesses of the 2015 Elections from Legal perspective, potential impacts of the 2018 Electoral Act, modern drafting techniques, opinion writing and brief writing and election petitions: practice, procedure, and advocacy.

This is the third in this series of trainings following the conduct of two (2) similar workshops held in Lagos and Ilorin. ECES plans to support trainings and workshops for political parties on the legal framework, compilation of judicial decisions and roundtables with Judges of Supreme Court, Court of Appeal and Federal High Court and Judges of Election Petitions Tribunal.  It is ECES expectation that all these support will deepen knowledge and sharpen skills on how to use law and its instruments as a veritable tool for the conduct of free, fair and credible elections come 2019.

Participants at the event were comprised of legal officers from the headquarters and state offices of the Commission, as well as police officers, tasked with the prosecution of electoral offenses. Resource persons at the training former Inspector General of Police, Solomon Arase, Prof. Oritsematosan Edodo-Emore among others.

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