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INEC Prosecutes 200 Electoral Offenders – Attahiru Jega

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The Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof. Attahiru Jega, on Monday said the commission had prosecuted more than 200 electoral offenders.

Jega made the disclosure in Abuja at a media session organised by INEC and the United Nations Democratic Programme’s Democratic Governance for Democracy project.

He said the offenders were prosecuted from 2011 to date, adding that many suspects of electoral offences were awaiting trial.

He said prosecuting the suspects had been difficult and time-consuming for the commission, adding that INEC had proposed the establishment of an electoral tribunal to reduce the burden.

“We have made a request to the National Assembly for the creation of an electoral tribunal to unbundle the commission,” he said.

Jega said that the “win-at-all-cost” attitude of politicians was a huge challenge to the electoral process in the country.

He accused political parties of breaching the provisions of party guidelines in conducting primary elections and alleged there had also been breaches of the Electoral Act in respect of campaign by political parties.

“There have been breaches in terms of campaign in accordance with the guidelines but we will see how we can persecute them,” he said.

He announced that the commission would soon come up with new guidelines on campaign, saying that there was need to fine-tune the guidelines.

He said that INEC had always engaged 300,000 corps members as ad hoc staff during elections adding that using corps members at elections had minimised electoral fraud in the country.

The INEC chairman said that the use of primary school teachers for elections in the past contributed to electoral fraud.

“We have reduced fraud significantly by using ad hoc staff as against the use of primary school teachers in the past,” he said, adding that some corps members had been jailed for electoral fraud.

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