November 30, 2022

Attacks on INEC offices: Reps task politicians to respect peace accord

By Levinus Nwabughiogu, Abuja 

House of Representatives at plenary on Wednesday asked politicians to call their supporters to order and also respect the peace accord they signed in Abuja.

The warning followed the report of incessant attacks and burning of facilities belonging to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.

The House also urged the Nigeria Police Force, Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps and other security agencies such as the Department of State Services to synergise with the Attorney General of the Federation and the Minster of Justice to identify, investigate, arrest and prosecute the perpetrators behind the attacks.

The parliament also resolved to set up an adhoc committee to investigate the remote and immediate cause of the incessant inferno on INEC offices in different parts of the country.

The resolutions were taken upon the consideration of a motion moved by Hon. Olarewaju Ibrahim Kunle.

Presenting the motion, Kunle who noted the frequent systemic arson and attacks on the personnel, offices and facilities of the INEC submitted that it was a premeditated attack targeted at crippling the Commission and scuttling the 2023 general elections.

He, however, lamented the inability of the Nigeria Police and other security agencies to arrest the perpetrators.

He said, “Between February 2019 and May 2021 the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) reported at least 41 arsons were carried out on the Independent National Electoral Commission facilities in fourteen (14) States. Aware that on 10 November 2022, the Independent National Electoral Commission office in Abeokuta South Local Government Area of Ogun State, was set ablaze by hoodlums with not less than 65000 uncollected PVCs razed down by the fire.

“Arsonists and thugs also set ablaze the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) building at Oke Iresi, Ede South Local Government of Osun State. Also worried that if these systematically orchestrated attacks on personnel and facilities of the Independent National Electoral Commission are not checked, the actions are capable of disrupting the 2023 general election.”

Ruling on the motion for its adoption, the Speaker, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila said that the 7 member adhoc committee will be chaired by Hon. Taiwo Oluga, with Hon. Mark Gbillah, Hon. Ahmed Jaha, Hon. Olarewaju Kunle and 3 others as members.

The committee was given 3 weeks within which to conclude the investigation and report back for further legislative action.