According to a report by SaharaReporters, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has barred officials from making or receiving calls during collation of results.
This was contained in the 36-page new guidelines ahead of the 2023 general elections released on Friday.
The regulation, also obtained in the 2019 version of the guidelines, is aimed at ensuring that its officials remain focused on their assignments.
To accommodate the provisions of the 2022 Electoral Act, the guidelines expanded from addressing merely 52 points to 106.
“COVID-19 restrictions have been relaxed,” INEC in its schedule attached to the newly released guidelines, but it insisted that “each vehicle deployed to convey election staff shall carry only 50 per cent of its normal passenger capacity” as all passengers must wear nose masks.
The INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, at the presentation of the guidelines during the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security meeting in Abuja, said the commission had officially ended its formal preparations for the forthcoming general elections.
“On several occasions, the Commission has assured Nigerians that we are finalising the Regulations and Guidelines for the elections. I am glad to announce that the document is ready and will be presented to Nigerians shortly. The soft copy will be uploaded to our website with the link shared on our social media platforms.
“With the release of the Regulations and Guidelines today, and the publication of the Strategic Plan (SP) 2022-2026 and Election Project Plan 2023 earlier, the Commission has virtually concluded the planning processes for the 2023 General Election nine months ahead of the election. In the next couple of weeks, the training manual will also be presented to Nigerians,” he said.
Yakubu said the commission would now focus on election administration as it prepared for the June 18 Ekiti Governorship Election.
Recounting the INEC preparations toward the success of the Ekiti election, the chairman said he has visited the state and can ascertain that the commission is fully prepared to conduct the election.
He also hopes to return to the state soon to sign the INEC Peace Accord with stakeholders and political parties before the election.