- INEC has explained what it would do to make future elections more credible in Nigeria
- There were criticisms about the conduct of 2019 Bayelsa and Kogi state governorship elections
- Mahmood Yakubu, the INEC chairman, blamed politicians and political parties for undermining the process
Following the controversies and criticisms that trailed 2019 Bayelsa and Kogi state elections, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has called for vigilance on the part of all stakeholders and sought adequate punishment for electoral offenders.
Vanguard reports that the electoral umpire would conduct at least 30 elections this year, adding that the INEC has scheduled re-run elections to hold simultaneously in 28 constituencies across 12 states of the country on January 25.
Legit.ng gathered that arising from the 2019 general election, 807 post-election petitions were filed at the tribunals.
Out of this figure, 582 were dismissed, 183 withdrawn by the petitioners, 30 for re-run election and 12 for issuance of certificates of return.
The INEC chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, who blamed politicians and political parties for undermining the process, urged stiff sanctions against election riggers.
Yakubu said the electoral umpire will never connive with any party to rig polls as alleged by some political parties.
Lamenting that attorneys-general and commissioners of justice of states were freeing electoral offenders, he said it is inconceivable that INEC would go the whole hog to put in place electoral safeguards only to turn around and act in the breach.
Yakubu, however, told stakeholders recently that: “The commission will continue to improve on our processes in spite of the extremely challenging environment created by the action and inaction of actors outside our control.
“The commission is deeply concerned that elections in Nigeria, especially for executive positions, are increasingly characterised by brazen acts of impunity. The commission plans for all elections to be successfully concluded and for the will of the people to prevail.
“It is inconceivable that INEC will make elaborate arrangements for the deployment of personnel and materials and then turn around to undermine ourselves in the field on election day. Impunity has become the bane of our elections. The best antidote to impunity is the enforcement of sanctions under our laws without fear and favour. Where offenders are not punished, bad behaviour is encouraged.”
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had previously reported that the situation room, a civil society group, released its review of the performance of the INEC during 2019 general election.
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Bayelsa election: Party agents argue fiercely over results anomaly | - on Legit TV