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Elections: We’ll Prosecute Staff Found Compromising Standards – INEC

Posted by Samuel on Fri 17th Mar, 2023 -

This followed allegations that the commission was collaborating with some powerful forces to rig elections in some states of the federation.


The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said it will prosecute any of its staff found compromising the standards set for the conduct of this Saturday’s governorship and Houses of Assembly elections.

INEC’s Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Benue State, Prof Samuel Egwu, in a statement yesterday, said the commission frowned at the conduct of ad hoc staff who deliberately sought to undermine the credibility of elections, noting that they would be prosecuted if they compromised.

This followed allegations that the commission was collaborating with some powerful forces to rig elections in some states of the federation.

Egwu said, “The commission in Benue State is deeply troubled by the widely shared perception that some persons appointed as ad hoc staff in positions such as Supervisory Presiding Officers (SPOs}, Collation Officers (COs) and polling level staff (presiding officers and assistant presiding officers) work at the behest of politicians with the aim of influencing outcomes of elections.

“The commission frowns at the conduct of ad hoc staff who deliberately seek to undermine the credibility of elections. For the avoidance of doubt, Section 120 of the 2022 Electoral Act provides that officers on election duty who, without lawful excuse, commit acts or omit to act in breach of official duty for which they have sworn to an oath of neutrality will be prosecuted, and if convicted, shall be imprisoned.

“This applies to all the ad hoc mentioned above. The term of imprisonment is three years for collation officers and 12 months for presiding officers and other polling level staff.”

The electoral umpire equally denied claims by the opposition that it was collaborating with the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Lagos State to rig this Saturday’s governorship poll.

INEC also denied blocking South East and South South ad-hoc staff from participating in the elections.

In a statement signed by the Head of Voter Education and Publicity in Lagos, Tadese Adenike, the commission said it read the allegation of preventing South South and South East from participating in the elections with “great surprise”.

The electoral body has also denied claims that it was planning to rig elections in favour of the ruling APC in Kebbi State.

The Kebbi State chapter of the leading opposition party, the PDP, had said it uncovered a hatched plan to rig Saturday’s governorship election in the state.

Briefing newsmen yesterday in Birnin Kebbi, the Director General of the PDP Gubernatorial Campaign Council, Alhaji Abubakar Shehu, said, “They have concluded plans to cause delay in the BVAS accreditation process, add unaccredited voters to cause outright cancellation of the polling units and cause disruption in the units perceived to be PDP strongholds.”

Responding, INEC’s Deputy Director of Publicity and Voter Education in the state, Muhammed Rabiu, said, “There is no how any party can rig Saturday’s elections because BVAs would be used for all the elections.

“Any of our staff that flouts INEC’s directives on the use of BVAS and conduct of the elections would be prosecuted.”

Meanwhile, in Rivers State, the governorship candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Accord Party (AP), National Rescue Movement, (NRM), Action Alliance (AA) and African Democratic Party (ADC), yesterday, vowed to resist any attempt to rig the elections in favour of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

They disclosed this during a joint press conference in Port Harcourt, the state capital.

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