INEC: We’ll address proven cases of infractions

Professor Mahmood Yakubu, the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), is giving a report to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said that any violation found in last Saturday’s presidential and National Assembly elections will be addressed according to the law.

Prof. Mahood Yakubu, the commission’s chairman, has stated that any permanent or temporary member of staff found to have compromised the previous exercise will be barred from working on the upcoming Governorship and Assembly elections.

He ordered that disciplinary action be taken against those staff members as soon as possible.

At a meeting with Resident Electoral Commissioners, the head of INEC said that the commission had received reports from State offices as well as complaints and petitions from political parties and candidates.

He said: “Where infractions of any kind are proven, there will be redress. I must add that any action taken by the commission is without prejudice to the rights of parties and candidates to seek further remedy as provided by law”.

He said, ” As we approach the Governorship and State Assembly elections, we must work harder to overcome the challenges experienced in the last election. Nothing else will be acceptable to Nigerians.

“All staff found to be negligent, whether they are regular or ad hoc officials, including Collation and Returning Officers, must not be involved in forthcoming elections. RECs must also immediately initiate disciplinary action where prima facie evidence of wrongdoing has been established.”

When he talked about logistics, which became a problem in some states, he said that the delay in sending out staff was caused by the fact that the exercise was centralised in some places.

According to him: “Election Day logistics must be finalised days before the election and handled by the Electoral Officers (EOs) at the Local Government level. This has been our standard practice. Centralising the process, as was done in some States, resulted in delayed deployment of personnel and materials and late commencement of polls.

“RECs will be held responsible for any tardy arrangement or the failure to deploy electric power generators to collation centres or polling units where such facilities are needed. The commission has enough facilities in all the States of the Federation. Failure to deploy them is simply inexcusable.

“Refresher training must be conducted for ad hoc staff that participated in the last election. Where they are replaced for good reason, they must be properly trained so that processes are not delayed or compromised at any stage.”

He said this about the election’s technology: “the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) will once again be deployed for voter accreditation and result management. The deployment of BVAS has gone a long way to sanitise voter accreditation, as can be seen from the result of recent elections. 

“Since last week, the commission has intensified the review of the technology to ensure that glitches experienced, particularly with the upload of results are rectified. We are confident that going forward the system will run optimally”.

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