INEC seeks Electoral Offences Tribunal
The Chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmood Yakubu yesterday called on the federal government to set up the Electoral Offences Tribunal to handle all the cases involving violators of the country’s elections ahead of the 2019 General Elections.
Yakubu said this at the unveiling of the Commission’s 4-year strategic plan in Abuja. He said the Commission is saddled with so many responsibilities in the conduct of the required free, fair and credible election in the country, stressing that INEC will do better than it is currently doing if certain roles in the election process are removed from it.
The INEC Chairman noted that the recent decision of the Commission to give a fixed timetable for general election in the country was to ensure that there is enough time for both INEC and stakeholders to prepare adequately for the elections.
He expressed the hope that the strategic plan would help stakeholders to understand the working of the Commission and its plans for enhancing the conduct of elections in the country.
“We had some difficult re-run elections; one of it was in Michika State constituency in Kano. The severity of the violence in that election was such that we had to invoke Section 26 of the Electoral Act to suspend the election. In that election, we worked with the police and prosecuted 40 electoral offenders, the highest number of recorded prosecution in the history of INEC.
“We have been working with the police since we came on board, we received 127 electoral offences files nationwide. Also, we have so far successfully prosecuted 61 electoral offenders. After what happened in Rivers, the Director of Public Prosecution of the federation is currently prosecuting 23 staff of the Commission; we have already invoked the terms and condition in the employment of the affected staff by suspending and placing all of them on half salary, pending the determination of their cases. We are also going to do the same thing on the 202 staff that being tried by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).