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INEC: The road to 2019 and beyond

By Emmanuel Aziken, Political Editor, and Omeiza Ajayi
A 42-year-old man, Semiu Abiodun, who allegedly beat his estranged wife to a pulp over her property, was on Tuesday brought before a Tinubu Magistrates’ Court, Lagos.

Mahmood Yakubu

Abiodun is being tried for a two-count charge of assault and breach of peace.

According to the prosecutor, Insp. Philip Osijiale, the accused had on April 1 at Idumota on Lagos Island assaulted his wife, Oluwakemi, in her shop.

“The accused went to his wife’s shop at Idumota to explain what happened to the jeep and truck she kept in his custody before their separation.

“In the process, the accused assaulted the complainant by beating her black and blue and also damaged one of her eyes.”

The prosecutor said the mother of five was the bread winner of the family, but was separated from the husband as a result of constant battering.

He alleged that the accused took advantage of the complainant’s absence in the house to sell her property.

“Abiodun sold his wife’s jeep and truck and when she asked him to return the vehicles and some other property in his custody, he turned violent.

“It was other traders at the market that came to her rescue when they heard her crying for help.

“The accused was arrested while the complainant was rushed to the hospital.

“She is still receiving treatment in the hospital,’’ he told the court.

The offences contravened Sections 166 and 171 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011.

Section 166 stipulates three months imprisonment or N45, 000 fine or both, while Section 171 provides a three-year jail term for assault occasioning harm.

The accused, however, pleaded not guilty.

The Magistrate, Mr Omolaja Kazeem, granted the accused N20,000 bail with two sureties in the like sum and adjourned the case until April 28 for trial.

Review of 2015 to 2016

•The bill to amend the Electoral Act was passed too close to the 2015 elections and did not contain key provisions proposed by the Commission such as Out of Country Voting (OCV), power of INEC to disqualify candidates who do not meet criteria for elections, provisions on constituency delimitation etc

•Smart card readers in some places failed to read finger prints
•Increase in the number of voters who were accredited but did not vote
•Improvement in election day logistics but few cases of delay.
•low voter turnout in some instances and high proportion of voided votes.

Strategic priorities for 2017-2021

In line with our contextual analysis, vision and mission, the strategic objectives are:
1. To provide electoral operations, systems and infrastructure to support delivery of free, fair and credible elections;
2. To improve voter education, training and research;

3.To register political parties and monitor their operations;

4.To interact nationally and internationally with relevant stakeholders;
5.To strengthen INEC for sustained conduct of free, fair and credible elections


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