INEC tasks N’Assembly on electoral offences commission
• Expresses readiness for Ondo governorship election
• Group seeks prosecution of electoral offenders as deterrent
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has urged the National Assembly to expedite legislation on the proposed Electoral Offences Commission.
The National Chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, who stated this while addressing journalists in Akure, yesterday, during a three-day visit to Ondo State in preparation for the October 10, 2020 governorship election, lamented the poor prosecution of electoral crimes, saying there is a legal framework to resolve issues.
Yakubu, who gave the assurance that the proposed amendment of the electoral legal framework would proffer lasting solution to the menace through a new legislation by the National Assembly, expressed the commission’s readiness to conduct a credible, free and fair election in the state, adding that all the smart card readers burnt in Akure recently had been replaced from Oyo State.
The INEC boss said that the commission opted for Oyo State instead of Edo State due to the surplus available in the former to meet Ondo State’s need, which has 3,009 polling units.
He, however, declared that any incidence of violence is worrisome to the commission, saying that the National Peace Committee will be in the state early next month to commit all the parties and candidates to sign a peace accord.
He assured that no one would be disenfranchised in the forthcoming governorship election in Ondo State.
The INEC boss, who solicited the support of media professionals on civic education, sensitisation and adherence to COVID-19 guidelines, pledged to surpass the successes recorded recently in Edo State.
MEANWHILE, the Executive Director of Pacesetters, Mr. Jonathan Obatola, has decried the inability of the police to prosecute electoral offenders, attributing it to various degrees of electoral crimes in the country.
Obatola, at an advocacy visit to the Ondo State Police Command Headquarters in Akure for a “vote not fight” campaign, recently, attributed the rising profile of electoral crimes to the lacuna in the Electoral Act.
He lamented that the increasing rate at which electoral offenders go scot-free encourages people, especially the youths.