INEC seeks 10 years ban for electoral offenders

By Wahab Akanji, Abuja
The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has moved to amend the Electoral Act that would seek to disqualify or bar electoral offenders from standing for future elections.Chairman of INEC, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, stated this in Abuja on Friday also expressed regrets that electoral violence and malpractice instigated by the political class were responsible for the recent
spate of inconclusive elections conducted so far by the Commission.

Yakubu who spoke at one-day civil society/stakeholders round table on INEC and inconclusive elections, noted that the desperation by most politicians to win elections at all cost usually lead to massive electoral irregularities and violence resulted death of innocent citizens and destruction of properties.

The session was organised by the Independent Service Delivery Monitors group, ISDMG, in collaboration with Partners for Elective Reforms, PER, was chaired by Human Rights activist, Mr. Ledun Mitee. Yakubu, who was represented by the Director Voter Education at the Commission, Mr Oluwale Osaze Uzzy, however, enjoined Human Rights activists to promote any cause that, would lead to restoration of  sanity in the electoral system.

While also calling for a 10-year ban on politicians who are guilty of electoral offences from aspiring to any public office, the INEC Chief added that the tide of electoral violence and malpractices was making
the conduct of elections difficult for the Commission.

Human Rights activist, Mr Ezenwa Nwagwu, who spoke from the independent observer’s perspective, expressed fears that the current leadership crisis of PDP if not resolved would negatively impact on
the conduct of the forthcoming gubernatorial elections in Edo and Ondo States.

He disclosed that INEC has conducted 129 election in the last six  months and still have 31 more by July, it inherited 49 rerun in 16 states. He however called for revisit of the recommendation of the Justice Uwais led electoral reform committee particularly recommendation for the establishment of Electoral Offences Commission and Political Party Registration and Regulatory Commission.

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