INEC News Bulletin
CANDIDATE DISQUALIFICATION: INEC DISPELS RUMOR
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has disavowed rumors from a story trending on social media that the Commission would not issue forms to persons with pending cases of embezzlement before security agencies and the courts.
In a statement signed and made public by the Director of Voter Education and Publicity, Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi, the Commission described the story as false and declared that it did not emanate from the Commission or any of its officials.
The Commission called on the public to ignore such unfounded rumors and explained that the grounds for disqualification were clearly spelt out in the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
The statement affirmed the Commission’s resolve to remain on the side of the law and abide by Constitutional provisions.
In another development, the Commission has called on citizens to be vigilant and ensure they go only to INEC designated Registration Centres to get registered in the on-going nationwide Continuous Voter Registration exercise.
The call was made in the wake of the arrest of a suspect in connection with illegal and fake voter registration in Offa Local Government Area of Kwara state.
In a statement signed by the Administrative Secretary of Kwara, Mr. Paul Atser and issued last week, the Commission said the arrested suspect was currently under investigation by the Police.
The Commission said a list of designated Registration Centres was available to citizens at State and Local Government offices of the Commission.
2019: WE ARE COMMITTED TO ENSURING AN ALL INCLUSIVE PROCESS – INEC CHAIRMAN
Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmood Yakubu has reiterated the Commission’s commitment towards ensuring an all-inclusive electoral process in the 2019 General Elections and beyond.
Professor Yakubu gave the assurance during an interactive meeting with representatives of groups of Persons Living with Disabilities (PWDs) under the leadership of the Joint National Association of Persons with Disabilities (JONAPWD) held at the Commission’s Headquarters in Abuja, yesterday.
The INEC Chairman who was represented by National Commissioner, and Chairman of the Outreach and Partnership Committee, Dr. Adekunle Ladipo Ogunmola stated that the Commission was working assiduously on developing the framework for engaging PWDs. He assured that the document would soon be considered for adoption in consultation with relevant stakeholders and be validated subsequently.
The INEC Chairman explained that the Commission in considering the needs of PWDs in the electoral process has included some PWD friendly features in the data capturing process for the on-going Nationwide Continuous Voter Registration (CVR). This move he said would help develop a database of PWDs and identify their various needs in the electoral process.
He lauded the efforts of the JONAPWD at ensuring that all eligible Nigerians are included in the electoral process, whether as voters, candidates or as observers adding that the Commission would support the Association in achieving its set objectives.
The Chairman maintained that INEC as a transparent organisation will ensure efforts were sustained at deepening democracy in Nigeria; as it moves to meet international best practices.
In her remark, National Commissioner, Electoral Operations Committee, Mrs Amina Bala Zakari said the Commission was working with State Governments to design PWD friendly Polling Units in the states. She explained that due to budgetary constraints, the Commission would need stakeholders such as state governments to complement its efforts in ensuring an all-inclusive electoral process.
Earlier, President of Joint Association of Persons with Disabilities (JONAPWD), Mrs. Ekaete Judith Umoh appreciated the Commission for the consideration given to Persons Living with Disabilities. She said the meeting would provide the opportunity to work with the Commission in ensuring that the INEC Disability Framework was launched before the 2019 General Elections.
Mrs. Ekaete expressed the readiness of JONAPWD to complement the Voter Education drive of the Commission and urged INEC to factor the PWDs in the drafting and crafting of Voter Education materials.
INEC SUPPORTS THE ESTABLISHMENT OF ELECTORAL OFFENCES COMMISSION
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has described the proposed establishment of Electoral Offences Commission as a welcome development with potentials to enhance the quality of the electoral process.
The Commission’s support was expressed in a presentation by Chairman INEC Professor MahmoodYakubu during a public hearing on ‘’A Bill to establish the National Electoral Offences Commission and for other matters connected therewith, 2017 (SB469) organized by Senate Joint Committees on INEC, Judiciary, Human Rights, and Legal Matters’’ in Abuja, Yesterday.
According to Professor Yakubu, the consideration and passage of the Bill was long overdue given the strong advocacy by two previous Committees set up by the Federal Government – the Electoral Reform Committee (the Uwais Report)2008 and the Committee on the Post-election Violence (the Lemu Report 2011)
He noted that ‘’in their mutually reinforcing recommendations, the two Committees strongly advocated the establishment of the Electoral Offences Commission/ Tribunal for the enforcement of laws to address all forms of electoral offences and consequently stem the incidence of electoral violence that has undermined the stability and progress of Nigeria’s electoral democracy’’
The INEC Chairman argued that ‘’the failure to systematically and consistently enforce sanctions has encouraged impunity and violence that often characterize electoral contest in Nigeria, thereby subverting the will of the people and undermining the nation’s electoral democracy’’.
The INEC Chairman who noted that though at present INEC is saddled with the responsibility of prosecuting electoral offenders through its legal officers or any Legal Practitioner appointed but such authority was hampered by lack of powers to arrest and investigate which made the Commission dependant on the police.
‘’without the capacity to make arrest and investigate violations, the prosecutorial role is severely hampered. INEC cannot effectively focus on the role of prosecuting electoral offenders given the variegated responsibilities assigned to it under the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Electoral Act 2010 (as Amended)” he explained.
However, Prof. Yakubu cautioned the National Assembly on some implications of the proposed Bill for consideration before its final enactment, which include: composition of members, appointment of the Secretary to the Commission, specificity of concepts, size and responsibility of departments, and advocated for the inclusion of representatives of special action groups.
CVR: ELECTORAL OFFICER QUERIED OVER INELIGIBLE REGISTRATION
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Taraba State has detected the registration of some ineligible persons in the ongoing Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) Exercise and has since issued letters of query to officers alleged to have been involved in the untoward behavior.
The Commission made the disclosure in a press statement signed and issued by the Head of Voter Education and Publicity Department in Taraba, Mr. Fabian YameVwamhi, Tuesday, this week.
The statement noted that the act was in contravention of the Electoral Act (2010 as amended) and the INEC guideline for registration; and explained that such illegal registrations had been flagged for removal from the voters’ register.
“The Electoral Officer and Registration Officer of the affected registration Centre have been queried; while the attention of the Security Agencies have been drawn to the matter for further investigation and possible prosecution of all found to have been involved, including INEC Staff,” the statement added.