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‘Why INEC can’t prosecute all electoral offenders’

By Omeiza Ajayi

The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has not been able to successfully prosecute electoral offenders because it lacks the capacity and resources required for such undertaking, a report has shown.

Recently unveiled in Abuja, the 2015 General Elections Report recalled that at the end of the voter registration exercise in 2011, about 870, 000 cases of registration offences were uncovered. Of the figure, INEC was only able to prosecute a little over 200 cases.

The report was commissioned by INEC with support from key development partners including the European Union and the United Nations Development Programme, UNDP.

For the 2015 general elections, the report was silent on the number of cases, but the commission’s Director in charge of Voter Education, Publicity, Civil Society and Gender Liaison, Oluwole Osaze-Uzi, said INEC has not finished collating the total figure.

However, the report added that for the last election, the Open Society Initiative for West Africa, OSIWA, gave a grant of N13.9 million for the prosecution of electoral offences and gazette of electoral regulation.

Former INEC chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega, had, after the elections in April, expressed the preparedness of the commission to prosecute some identified electoral offenders.

Among those being prosecuted included a former Director-General of the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, as well as some youth corps members.

 


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