Nigeria’s Electoral Umpire, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, yesterday at a one-day workshop on Electoral Reportage, in Kano State, reiterated its call for the establishment of an Electoral Offences Commission.
According to the Commission, the setting up of the electoral offences commission would go a long way in checking electoral irregularities, including violence and snatching of ballot boxes, noting that the Independent National Electoral Commission is usually too engrossed with ensuring the successful conduct of elections to be involved in additional assignments such as the arrest and prosecution of violators of electoral laws of the land.
Speaking through its Kano State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Prof. Shehu Risqua; INEC stated that the proposed Electoral Offences Commission should be assigned the responsibility of recording, investigating and prosecuting violators and offenders of the Electoral Act during the forthcoming 2023 general elections and future elections in the country.
The Commission appealed to media practitioners to exercise caution in the discharge of their duties and also charged them to assist in recording evidences of electoral violations and breaches, as the relevant authorities are very determined to check these electoral excesses in all future elections.
In the same vein, the Commission applauded the on-going nationwide online registration of voters, noting that it has considerably reduced congestion at registration points, but lamented that a large number of online registrants had failed to come over to its Centres to physically complete their registration process.
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It also announced that the Commission had converted a total of 3,048 voting centres in Kano State to polling units, and that the state now has a total of 11, 222 polling units. INEC, however, decried the number of double registration in some states of the federation.
Citing Kano State, for instance, INEC disclosed that about 40% of the completed registrations were not valid due to double registration.