Prof Mahmood Yakubu, Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has advocated for the passage of the bill establishing the commission and tribunal of electoral offences.
According to him, the bill’s passage would relieve the commission of the burden of prosecuting electoral offences, which he described as one of the most difficult jobs assigned to the commission and one in which it has not been successful.
WITHIN NIGERIA reports that Yakubu told the House of Representatives Committee on Electoral Matters that if passed, the bill, like the new Electoral Act 2022 as amended, will contribute to ensuring free, fair, and credible elections.
The INEC chairman, who urged the legislature to pass the bill and submit it for assent before the end of the 9th National Assembly, also stated that if successful, it would be another significant contribution to our electoral process.
Some of the progress referred to by the chairman of this committee owes a lot to the new Electoral Act. It has really strengthened our hands. I also like what Honourable Sam Onuigbo said; and the comment made by Honourable Abonta about the involvement of Commissioner Festus Okoye on the technical committee for the last election. We have nominated the same person for the Electoral Offences Commission and Tribunal Bill. I would like to appreciate you for that.
You have relieved the commission, by the time you passed this bill, of one of the most difficult jobs assigned to the commission, and which we have not successfully implemented, which is the prosecution of electoral offences. With the establishment of the commission, essentially by the efforts of members – because it is a private bill, not an executive bill, we have also taken another step towards ensuring free, fair and credible elections.
I pray that the process will be concluded and submitted for assent and be assented to before the lifespan of this Assembly. This will be another solid contribution to our electoral process. If you successfully do so, you would have done what the Uwais recommendation did not achieve; what the Lemu Committee did not achieve; and what the Nnamani Committee did not achieve. So, we look forward to and place on record our appreciation to the National Assembly.
He praised the National Assembly Committee on Electoral Matters for passing the Electoral Act 2022, calling it “the most progressive Electoral Act ever in the history of Nigerian elections.”
Aisha Dukku, Chairman of the Committee on Electoral Matters, congratulated INEC on the successful conduct of the governorship elections in Ekiti and Osun.
Let me also use this opportunity to congratulate you on the successful conduct of the Ekiti and Osun states governorship elections, Dukku stated.