INEC reiterates zero tolerance to vote buying, other electoral malpractices

INEC reiterates zero tolerance to vote buying, other electoral malpractices

- The Independent National Electoral Commission has reiterated its zero tolerance to vote buying and other electoral malpractices

- The resident electoral commissioner for Delta state, Dr Cyril Omorogbe, restated this on Tuesday, February 12

- Omorogbe says the commission is working closely with security agencies to exterminate vote buying

The resident electoral commissioner for Delta, Dr Cyril Omorogbe, on Tuesday, February 12, reiterated that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has zero tolerance to vote buying and other electoral malpractices.

Omorogbe restated this at a stakeholders’ meeting held in collaboration with security agencies, under the auspices of `Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES)’ for 2019 general elections in Asaba, NAN reports.

Legit.ng gathers that he said vote buying constitutes an offence under section 130(a-b) of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended).

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The REC explained that the offence attracts penalties ranging from fines of N100,000 or 12 months imprisonment or both.

He said: “The commission is working closely with security agencies and we are determined to exterminate this scourge that seeks to undermine our democracy.

“To this end, security agencies under the auspices of ICCES had perfected strategies to checkmate all manner of electoral malfeasance, particularly any attempt to hinder the peaceful conduct of the 2019 general election."

Omorogbe also called on traditional rulers to desist from partisanship.

He said: “While our royal fathers are not encumbered in any way from freely expressing their choice on election day as provided for by the Electoral Act and Guidelines and Regulation governing election, it is, however, morally questionable to openly endorse or even canvass for vote for preferred candidates.

“As revered custodian of our cultural heritage, it amounts to a betrayal of the trust reposed in such high office and ultimately fuel division among their subjects."

He, therefore, appealed to them to help the commission in its resolve to conduct peaceful and acceptable elections in the state.

Omorogbe said that apart from the commission’s commitment to zero tolerance for corruption, all officials, including poll staff, were being closely monitored.

According to him, the commission will not hesitate to sanction anyone found wanting in the conduct of the elections in the state.

He said: “I am sure you are aware that 200 staff of the commission were presently in court for misconduct."

He also said that any party agent not fully accredited would not be allowed to come near a polling unit or collation centre.

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On the allegation that card readers had been adulterated, Omorogbe said: “Our card readers cannot be adulterated, it is difficult for anyone to replicate what INEC has.”

Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that the United States asked the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to resist external pressure and intimidation in the forthcoming general elections scheduled for February 16 and March 2.

The United States’ secretary of state, Michael Pompeo, in a press statement, said that the forthcoming elections in Nigeria would be an opportunity for the country to solidify its democratic leadership in Africa.

Pompeo said: “The United States government supports a free, fair, transparent, and peaceful election that reflects the will of the Nigerian people."

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