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NigeriaDecides2023: INEC Vows To Punish Officials Who Sabotaged Presidential/NASS Polls

He said: “As we approach the Governorship and State Assembly elections, we must work harder to overcome the challenges experienced in the last election. Nothing else will be acceptable to Nigerians.



NigeriaDecides2023: INEC Vows To Punish Officials Who Sabotaged Presidential/NASS Polls

NigeriaDecides2023– The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has vowed to punish its officials, including ad hoc or collation personnel, who may have been found wanting in the conduct of the February 25 presidential and national assembly elections.

iexclusivenews reports that Prof. Mahmood Yakubu the INEC Chairman disclosed this on Saturday in Abuja at a meeting with Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs).

He said: “As we approach the Governorship and State Assembly elections, we must work harder to overcome the challenges experienced in the last election. Nothing else will be acceptable to Nigerians.

“All staff found to be negligent, whether they are regular or ad hoc officials, including Collation and Returning Officers, must not be involved in forthcoming elections. RECs must also immediately initiate disciplinary action where prima facie evidence of wrongdoing has been established”.

He also told the RECs that Election Day logistics must be finalized days before the election and handled by the Electoral Officers EOs at the Local Government level.

Related: INEC Releases Rivers National Assembly Polls Results 1 Week After Election

“This has been our standard practice. Centralizing the process as was done in some states resulted in a delayed deployment of personnel and materials and late commencement of polls.

“RECs will be held responsible for any tardy arrangement or the failure to deploy electric power generators to collation centers or polling units where such facilities are needed. The Commission has enough facilities in all the states of the Federation. Failure to deploy them is simply inexcusable,” he declared.

Mr. Yakubu also stated that refresher training must be conducted for ad hoc staff who participated in the last election, adding that where they are replaced for good reason, they must be properly trained so that processes are not delayed or compromised at any stage.

He said arising from last week’s election, the Commission has received reports from its State offices as well as complaints and petitions from political parties and candidates.

According to him, where infractions of any kind are proven, there will be redress, adding that any action taken by the Commission is without prejudice to the rights of parties and candidates to seek further remedies as provided by law.

Mr. Yakubu added that the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System BVAS will once again be deployed for voter accreditation and result management.

He said the deployment of BVAS has gone a long way to sanitizing voter accreditation as can be seen from the results of recent elections.

“Since last week, the Commission has intensified the review of the technology to ensure that glitches experienced, particularly with the upload of results are rectified. We are confident that going forward the system will run optimally,” he said.

Supplementary Polls

Mr. Yakubu also said the commission would soon be conducting supplementary elections in 46 Senatorial and Federal Constituencies, noting that only 98 out of 109 Senate seats have been declared so far.

INEC said 325 out of 360 seats had been won by eight political parties in the House of Representatives.

He announced that Senators-elect would get their Certificates of Return on Tuesday while Members-elect would get theirs the following day.

Mr. Yakubu said: “In last Saturday’s elections, winners have also been declared for 423 national legislative seats while supplementary elections will be held in 46 constituencies. In the Senate, 98 out of 109 seats have been declared. So far, seven political parties have won senatorial seats while in the House of Representatives, 325 out of 360 seats have been won by eight political parties.
In terms of party representation, this is the most diverse national assembly since 1999″.

Giving a breakdown of the seats won by parties, Yakubu said in the Senate, the All Progressives Congress APC has 57; APGA 1; LP 6; NNPP 2; PDP 29; SDP 2, and YPP 1.

For the House of Representatives, the African Democratic Congress ADC won 2 seats; APC 162; APGA 4; LP 34; NNPP 18; PDP 102; SDP 2, and YPP 1.

Certificates of Return will be presented to Senators-elect on Tuesday 7th March 2023 at 11.00 am at the National Collation Centre (the International Conference Centre), Abuja, while Members of the House of Representatives-elect will receive theirs the following day, Wednesday 8th March 2023, at 11.00 am at the same venue.

“However, for effective crowd management, each Senator/Member-elect should be accompanied by a maximum of two guests. The comprehensive list of all members-elect will be uploaded to the Commission’s website shortly”, Yakubu added.

The INEC Chairman also conceded that last week’s national elections raised a number of issues that require immediate, medium, and long-term solutions.

According to him, while the planning for the election was painstakingly done, its implementation came with challenges, some of them unforeseen.

“The issues of logistics, election technology, the behavior of some election personnel at different levels, and the attitude of some party agents and supporters add to the extremely challenging environment in which elections are usually held in Nigeria.

“We appreciate the sacrifice and doggedness of Nigerians and the dignity and maturity displayed by political leaders even in the context of divergent views about the election. A lot of lessons have been learned. Of immediate concern to the Commission is how the identified challenges can be addressed as we approach the concluding phase of the General Election involving the largest number of constituencies i.e. 28 State Governorship elections and 993 State Houses of Assembly seats”, he stated.