….Insists next general election holds Feb. 18, 2023
By Lateef Ibrahim, Abuja
The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, yesterday revealed that it has secured sixty (60 )convictions out of the one hundred and twenty-five (125) cases of electoral offences it filed in various courts since the 2015 General Election.
Similarly, the Commission has disclosed that by its established principle, the 2023 General Election will hold on Saturday 18th February 2023, which is exactly one year, nine months, two weeks and six days or 660 days from today (yesterday).
The Chairman of INEC, Prof Mahmood Yakubu made these disclosures yesterday in an address he presented at a one-day public hearing on the National Electoral Offences Commission (Establishment) Bill 2021 organised by the Senate Committee on INEC in Abuja.
Yakubu assured that the Timetable and Schedule of Activities for the General Election will be released immediately after the Anambra Governorship election.
The Anambra governorship election is scheduled to hold on Saturday November 6, this year.
Yakubu pointed out that of the numerous responsibilities carried out by the Commission, the prosecution of electoral offenders,has been one of the most challenging.
According to him, “No doubt, INEC is saddled with so many responsibilities ranging from the registration and regulation of political parties, registration of voters, delineation of constituencies, conduct of elections/bye-elections/referendum/recall and prosecution of electoral offences, among others. The tasks are Herculean.
“Of the numerous responsibilities carried out by the Commission, the prosecution of electoral offenders, has been one of the most challenging.
“For instance, since the 2015 General Election, 125 cases of electoral offences were filed in various courts out of which 60 convictions have been secured so far, including the most recent one in Akwa Ibom State.
“The Commission would like to see more successful prosecution of offenders, not just of ballot box snatchers and falsifiers of election results but most importantly their sponsors.
“We look forward to the day when highly placed sponsors of thuggery, including party chieftains and candidates that seek to benefit from violations of the law are apprehended.
“We believe that the work of the proposed Commission will help in this regard”, he said.
Prof Yakubu, while expressing excitement at yesterday’s public hearing, added, “I would like to reiterate our appeal to the National Assembly for the expeditious passage of the Electoral Offences Commission (Establishment) Bill 2021 and the pending review of the electoral legal framework generally”.
Continuing, he said, “ We are confident that the National Assembly will conclude work on the legal framework in earnest.
“The Commission is anxious to know the legal framework to govern the conduct of the 2023 General Election.”, he stressed.
Speaking on the 2023 general election, Yakubu said, “By the principle established by the Commission, the 2023 General Election will hold on Saturday 18th February 2023 which is exactly one year, nine months, two weeks and six days or 660 days from today.