INEC to prosecute suspended Adamawa REC, 214 others for electoral offences

INEC chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu

INEC chairman Prof. Mahmood Yakubu

By Emmanuel Oloniruha

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said it is now in possession of the case files were of the suspended Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) for Adamawa State, Hudu Yunusa-Ari and other 215 people who were indicted for various offences during the 2023 general elections.

The case file were submitted to INEC after the conclusion of investigation of the conduct of the Adamawa State REC and the other offenders, Chairman of the Commission, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu said on Tuesday.

INEC Chairman spoke in Abuja during the commission meeting with Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs), which commenced the commission post-election review of the general elections.

Yakubu said INEC was presently looking at all the evidence of infractions during the election, including the prosecution of offenders.

He added that INEC was looking at the activities of all actors involved in the election, including some of the commission’s high-ranking officials.

“I can confirm that the Nigeria Police concluded its investigation of the conduct of our REC in Adamawa State and submitted the case file to us. Appropriate action will be taken in a matter of days and Nigerians will be fully informed.

“I can also confirm that we have received 215 case files from the Nigeria Police following their arrest and the conclusion of investigation into electoral offences arising from the 2023 General Election.’’ Yakubu said.

He said that INEC was working with the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) to prosecute the alleged offenders.

“Already, the NBA has submitted a list of 427 lawyers across the country who have volunteered to render pro bono services to the Commission.

“They are not charging legal fees but by mutual agreement the Commission will provide a token amount to cover for filing fees/expenses. We are most grateful to NBA and its President, Yakubu Maikyau, for this historic collaboration.

“Similarly, we are working with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) on the prosecution of cases relating to vote buying and associated violations,’’ Yakubu said.

He also said that INEC had so far received reports from 54 accredited national and international observers.

Yakubu pledged that INEC would give equal prominence to all the reports and review them in a holistic manner to ensure that necessary lessons were learnt from their conclusions and recommendations.

“As a Commission, we hope to continue to count on the support of stakeholders to improve the electoral process in Nigeria,’’ he said

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Yakubu said that in the next few weeks, several internal debriefing meetings would be held, culminating in engagements with stakeholders.

He called on the RECs, as well as INEC senior officials to lead the discussion on all aspects of the election from preparations, conduct and aftermath frankly and constructively.

Yakubu listed areas the review expected to cover to include operational processes for the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) and general elections.

Others are Legal framework for the conduct of elections; and political parties registration, primaries and nomination of candidates for the election

“Technologies deployed in the electoral process, including the INEC Voter Enrolment Device (IVED); INEC Result Viewing Portal (IReV);

“ Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS); party nomination portal; observer, media and polling/collation agents’ accreditation portals etc., focusing particularly on their performance;

“Effectiveness of overall administrative procedures and channels within the Commission in the coordination and execution of pre-election, election and post-election activities,’’ Yakubu listed among others.

He said aside the review, INEC was also preparing for governorship elections in Kogi, Imo and Bayelsa as well as four other by-elections.

“The by-election was as a result of resignation in the case of Surulere 1 Federal Constituency of Lagos State.

“Death in respect of Jalingo/Yorro/Zing Federal Constituency of Taraba State, Chibok State Constituency of Borno State and Chikun State Constituency of Kaduna State.

“Let me at this point specifically reiterate to the RECs that we are commencing these debriefings with you because you are central to the conduct of elections.

“Many of you performed very well during the general election under extremely challenging circumstances. I commend you for that.

“However, a few of you did not properly manage the tasks lawfully bestowed upon you for which the Commission has taken some administrative action. I urge you to remain loyal to your oath of office,’’ Yakubu said.


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