The constant failure to consistently enforce sanctions against individuals who disobey established laws over the years during elections has encouraged impunity and violence that often characterize electoral contest in Nigeria.

This position was stressed by the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Mahmood Yakubu, at a Public Hearing on a Bill to establish the National Electoral Offences Commission and For Other Matters Connected Therewith.

Yakubu regretted that the development had led to the subversion of people’s will, as well as undermine the nation’s electoral democracy.

He said although the Electoral Act 2010 as amended, empowers INEC, through its Legal Officer or any Legal practitioner appointed by it, to prosecute electoral offenders, the Commission however lacks powers to arrest and investigates such offenders.

He argued that without the capacity to make arrest and investigate violations, the Commission’s prosecutorial role will be severely hampered as it was the case in the past.


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