Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, has explained why ballot riggers and other electoral offenders escape the long arms of the law.
The INEC boss said the absence of electoral offences commission and tribunal to take over power of prosecution from the electoral body was inimical to tackling the menace.
Yakubu stated this, yesterday, at a post-election review meeting with media executives in Abuja.
According to him, the country’s electoral process will remain ineffective without a proper agency to deal with electoral offenders.
He stressed the need for the country to revisit the recommendations of electoral reforms panels headed by Justice Mohammed Uwais (rtd), Sheikh Ahmed Lemu and Dr. Ken Nnamani, set up by Umaru Yar’Adua, Goodluck Jonathan and Muhammadu Buhari regimes respectively.
Yakubu said: “Here we are, the commission is saddled with the responsibility of prosecuting electoral offenders. I have said repeatedly that, in our case, some of the offenders may be INEC officials. How practicable is it for us to get ourselves prosecuted? That is why, consistently, committee upon committee have made recommendations since the Uwais committee of 2009, Lemu committee of 2011 and Nnamani committee of 2017 that there should be an electoral offences commission to deal with all violators of electoral laws, whoever they are; whether voters, INEC officials or ad hoc staff.