By Princess-Ekwi Ajide, Abuja
July 4 (Newshour.com.ng) – The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, said it has received 215 case files from the Nigeria Police following their arrest and the conclusion of investigation into electoral offences arising from the 2023 General Election.
The Chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu who stated this at a meeting with Resident Electoral Commissioners in commencement of its post-election review engagement at the Commission’s headquarters in Abuja. He disclosed that the commission is working with the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) to prosecute the alleged offenders.
Prof. Yakubu revealed that already, NBA has submitted a list of 427 lawyers across the country who have volunteered to render pro bono services to the Commission but by mutual agreement the Commission will provide a token amount to cover for filing fees/expenses.
He also disclosed that they are working with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) on the prosecution of cases relating to vote buying and associated violations.
According to him, since the conclusion of the election, diverse opinions have been expressed by political parties, candidates, observers, analysts and the general public on aspects of the elections that took place in February and March, saying that such diverse opinions are normally expected, and the Commission welcomes all of them as far as their purpose is to improve the future conduct of elections and to consolidate democracy.
Professor Yakubu, noted that the security challenge which threatened to derail the elections did not materialise as concerns that the polls will be disrupted by the perennial insecurity across the country fizzled out on Election Day and the elections were largely peaceful despite currency and fuel challenges and widespread attacks on INEC’s personnel and facilities nationwide.
The INEC boss reminded Nigerians that the elections were held for a total of 1,491 constituencies made up of one Presidential, 28 Governorship, 109 Senatorial, 360 Federal Constituencies and 993 State Assembly seats and that record shows that these elections have produced the most diverse outcomes ever recorded since 1999.