Politics

JUST IN: INEC to prosecute 200 Nigerians for Electoral Offences

The Independent National Electoral Commission is set to prosecute over 200 persons arrested for various electoral offences during the just concluded general elections.

Already, the Nigeria Police Force has transferred over 50 case files of electoral offences to the electoral umpire.

Giving updates on the number of case files INEC offices across the country had received from the police and how many electoral offenders had been handed over to it, the Chief Press Secretary to the INEC Chairman, Rotimi Oyekanmi, told Saturday PUNCH in an exclusive interview on Friday, “The commission has received over 50 case files from the police authorities. There are over 200 accused persons set for prosecution.

“The commission has directed its Litigation and Prosecution Department to study the files and advise it on the prosecution. The department has since commenced action and as soon as it finishes, it will revert to the commission accordingly.”

On March 13, 2023, the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, directed commissioners of police in charge of state commands to ensure investigation in all cases of violation of the Electoral Act during the February 25, 2023 presidential and National Assembly polls.

The IG directed them to swiftly conclude investigation and forward the case files to INEC for prosecution.

On March 14, the Chairman of INEC, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, said the commission was setting up a legal team to deal with cases of electoral offenders during the February 25 presidential and National Assembly polls.

On March 28, Baba directed that all electoral offences case files should be submitted to the Commissioner of Police in charge of the legal unit.

This, according to him, is to enable central collation and coordinated processing to the legal unit of INEC preparatory to the commencement of the prosecution process.

He gave an assurance that the NPF would collaborate with the INEC leadership in ensuring that all electoral offenders were expeditiously and transparently prosecuted not only in the interest of criminal justice, but in furtherance of the police’s vision of sanitising its electoral space.

Baba spoke at a meeting with strategic police managers of the NPF comprising deputy inspectors-general of police and members of the force management team, assistant inspectors-general of police, commissioners of police and other tactical commanders in Abuja.

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