Over 200 individuals are set to be prosecuted for electoral offences committed during the recently concluded general elections in Nigeria, News About Nigeria reports.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has received over 50 case files from the police authorities related to electoral violations and has directed its Litigation and Prosecution Department to study the files and advise on the prosecution.
The Chief Press Secretary to the INEC Chairman, Rotimi Oyekanmi, stated that the commission has since commenced action and as soon as it finishes studying the files, it will revert to the commission accordingly.
This development comes after the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, directed commissioners of police in charge of state commands to ensure investigations into all cases of violation of the Electoral Act during the February 25, 2023 presidential and National Assembly polls.
The Chairman of INEC, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, had earlier announced the commission’s decision to set up a legal team to deal with cases of electoral offenders during the presidential and National Assembly polls.
The aim is to ensure that all electoral offenders are transparently prosecuted in furtherance of the police’s vision of sanitizing the electoral space.
Baba, 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, reiterated that the NPF would collaborate with the INEC leadership to ensure that all electoral offenders were expeditiously and transparently prosecuted.
This development has been received positively by many Nigerians who believe that the prosecution of electoral offenders will help to curb electoral malpractices in the country.
It is also expected to serve as a deterrent to individuals who may be planning to engage in electoral malpractices in future elections.
Electoral violence, vote-buying, ballot box snatching, and other forms of electoral malpractices have been a recurring problem in Nigeria’s elections.
This has led to the disenfranchisement of voters and calls for the reform of the country’s electoral system.
The prosecution of electoral offenders is a step towards addressing this issue and ensuring that the country’s elections are free, fair, and credible.