INEC Backs Creation Of Electoral Offences Commission
Chairman of Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmood Yakubu says the establishment of Electoral Offences Commission was necessary to effectively prosecute violators of the country’s electoral laws.
Professor Yakubu stated this on Monday during a public hearing on a Bill to establish the National Electoral Offences Commission, organised in Abuja by the Senate Committees on INEC and Judiciary.
The Chief electoral umpire said that creating the commission to arrest, investigate and prosecute all violators of electoral laws would go a long way in ensuring that offenders were punished.
He believes that the failure to enforce sanctions encouraged impunity and violence in the country’s electoral process, thereby subverting the will of the people and undermining democracy.
According to him: “While the INEC was saddled with the responsibility to prosecute electoral offences, the process is severely hampered. More so, that some of the offenders may be staff of INEC itself; how do we prosecute ourselves so, the solution will be to have a commission to prosecute violators of Electoral Act. INEC cannot effectively prosecute electoral offenders and at the same time focus on our extensive responsibilities under the constitution and the Electoral Act.”
Professor Yakubu however, said that INEC had successfully prosecuted some electoral offenders in spite of the constraints.
“Arising from the 2015 general election and subsequent bye elections, we received 124 case files from the Nigeria Police but so far we have only succeeded in prosecuting a few of these cases.”