The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has disclosed plans to deal with cases of electoral offenders during the February 25 presidential and National Assembly elections.
While speaking at a meeting of the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security in Abuja on Tuesday, INEC Chairman Mahmood Yakubu revealed that the commission is setting up a legal team to ensure that electoral offenders are dealt with speedily.
He urged political parties to caution their supporters, emphasizing that the March 18 governorship and State Assembly election is a contest and not a war.
According to Yakubu, INEC is looking forward to receiving the case files of electoral offenders so that appropriate action would be taken.
“The governorship and state Assembly elections this weekend involve more constituencies than the national elections held about three weeks ago.
“Unlike the last elections involving 470 constituencies (one presidential, 109 senatorial districts and 360 House of Representatives seats), the state elections will involve 1,021 constituencies (28 governorship and 993 state Assembly seats).
“There will also be more candidates involved and more collation centres to protect.
“There are also local elections involving keen contests.
“It is, therefore, important for parties and candidates to speak to their agents and supporters to see the elections as a contest and not war.
“They should refrain from acts of violence that may mar the elections or compromise the security of our personnel, observers, the media and service providers.
“The commission is encouraged by the directive to state commands by the Inspector-General of Police to handle all cases of electoral offences expeditiously.
“We look forward to receiving the case files. We will immediately set up a legal team to handle such cases in earnest.”
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