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Prioritise Electoral Offences Commission – INEC Urges National Assembly

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NAN – The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has urged the National Assembly to give priority to the establishment of special commission to handle electoral offences, including people involved in multiple registration.

The Chief Press Secretary to INEC Chairman, Mr Kayode Idowu, on Friday, January 16, 2015 in Abuja told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that this was important as the lawmakers sought further amendment to the 2010 Electoral Act.

Idowu said it had been the position of INEC that giving serious consideration and effect to the recommendation that a special commission be set up would help the political process.

He said that establishing such special commission would help INEC to concentrate on the conduct of elections and other related functions.

“Don’t forget it is not only Justice Mohammed Uwais’ panel that recommended the establishment of the commission.

“Remember the Sheikh Lemu Panel on Electoral Violence also came up with the same recommendation.

“It appears at a time that the process has commenced. So it will be of help to the political process of the country if that commission materialises.’’

It would be recalled that the commission said that over four million voters were removed from the voter register released for the 2015 general elections due to multiple registration.

“When the 2011 register was processed, there are 4,280,979 multiple registrants apart from the four million. Even in the recent Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) exercises, we have almost 6,000 multiples,’’ Idowu said.

INEC also stated that it had successfully prosecuted 200 of the 870,000 electoral offenders recorded in the 2011 elections, as it did not have the capacity to successfully prosecute all the numbers of electoral offences.

The Chairman of INEC, Prof. Attahiru Jega, had at the presentation of voter register to political parties, said those who committed multiple registration offence should be prosecuted as required by law.

“We can account for those four million people that were involved but how can INEC begin to prosecute over four million people while we are preparing to conduct elections.

“Doing all sorts of this is a herculean task and humanly impossible for the kind of organisation that we have,’’ Jega said.

He said that INEC had been recommending to the National Assembly that electoral offence commission should be created.

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