A ballot box filled with ballot is pictured before being counted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) at a polling station in Yenagoa in Bayelsa State ~ PIUS UTOMI EKPEI
Abuja - The Independent National
Electoral Commission (INEC) on Tuesday said that it had commenced the
prosecution of electoral offenders, including electoral officers, in the 2015
The Chairman of INEC, Prof. Attahiru Jega, disclosed this at
a dialogue with Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), a coalition of over 60
CSOs, in Abuja.
Jega said at the first meeting with the group after the
elections, that those being prosecuted included a former Director-General of
the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) as well as youth corps members.
He called on the public to furnish the commission with
evidence of electoral breaches.
"Prior to the conduct of the elections, the
Inspector-General of Police was very proactive and established a committee.
"The committee is headed by a Deputy Inspector-General of
Police to work with INEC for speedy prosecution of electoral offenders,’’ he
"We believe that this will help us have more prosecution of
electoral offenders than in previous elections.
"Similarly, the Nigerian Bar Association has requested INEC
for a meeting, to further explore the possibility of working together for them
to provide some services to hasten the process of prosecuting electoral
"Altogether, we should be able to prosecute as many
electoral offenders as we have evidence to prosecute.
"There are already clear cut cases where the police have
apprehended people red-handed.
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"This is one area where we didn't do much in 2011. Not that
we didn't try but we were overwhelmed by the numbers of offenders and we
couldn't handle it.
"Now with partnership with other organisations, we should
be able to do so."
Jega admitted that do-or-die politics was evident in some
states and report of under-aged voting, adding, however, that there was no
substantial evidence to prove the allegations.
He said that the commission would correct the anomalies by
stopping the production of Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) of under-aged.
The INEC chairman also said that besides prosecution,
electoral officers who were not staff of the commission and ran away with
result sheets would be reported to their parent institutions.
Jega cited an example of an individual in Adamawa who had
bagged six months jail term for possessing multiple PVCs.
He reaffirmed his decision not to seek second tenure as the
INEC boss, in spite calls by some Nigerians that he should stay on.
"Man proposes and God disposes, as I speak with you, I will
rather do something else with my life,” he said.
Earlier, the Executive Director, Policy and Legal Advocacy
Centre (PLAC), Clement Nwankwo, commended INEC for conducting free, fair and
credible general elections.Nwankwo called for improvement on some of the
lapses recorded during the polls.