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197 Electoral Offenders’ Trial Delayed By INEC



INEC To Present Certificates Of Return To Elected National Assembly Members

Months after the general elections of 2023, the Independent National Electoral Commission has not yet prosecuted and brought charges against 197 electoral offenders.

The commission announced a collaboration with the Nigerian Bar Association to provide pro bono legal assistance for the efficient prosecution of electoral offenders detained during the general elections in 2023.

However, a top INEC official, who talked to The Punch on the condition of anonymity on Monday, stated that 197 of the 215 papers received by the commission will be examined by INEC and the NBA.

Dereliction of duty, criminal conspiracy, disorderly conduct at the election, possession of weapons, destruction of election materials, political thuggery, electoral violence, snatching of ballot boxes, and stealing of sensitive election materials were among the various grounds for arrest.

He emphasised that the remaining 18 case files, including murder, were returned to police since they did not fit under the category of electoral offences.

According to the source, “197 NBA lawyers are handling the cases of the 197 electoral offenders.”

“The remaining 18 cases were returned to the police because they did not fall squarely under electoral offences provided by the Electoral Act, 2022.”

The source further stated that around 19 instances involving financial crimes will be addressed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and INEC legal officials.

“The EFCC investigated and compiled these 19 cases. They are not among the cases reported by the police.

“The commission has only one case file forwarded to INEC by the ICPC”, he noted.

However, he revealed that the INEC had yet to initiate prosecution since the NBA members assigned to handle these electoral infractions had not yet been granted letters of instruction by the commission.

The source also states that the commission has yet to begin prosecution and it is believed that the letters instructing the NBA attorneys to begin the prosecution would be released this week.

News About Nigeria gathered that the source further stated that additional electoral offences may occur as a result of the off-cycle votes slated for November 11 in Kogi, Bayelsa, and Imo states.