Ahead of the July 16 gubernatorial election in Osun State, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC has identified vote buying as a single most worrisome development that could mar the nation’s democracy.
Addressing a special meeting of the Interagency Consultative Meeting on Election Security ICCES, the Resident Electoral Commissioner of Osun State Police Commissioner, Prof Yakubu expressed concern that more effort more effort is required in apprehending perpetrators of the brazen act.
He also commended the operatives of the Economic and financial crimes Commission EFCC and other security Agencies for the arrests made in Ekiti State assuring that the suspects would be prosecuted as soon as investigation are concluded.
While commending the synergy of Stakeholders that resulted in the success in Ekiti, the INEC boss stressed that with greater collaboration and team effort the same result would be replicated in Osun State come July 16.
“The synergy between the Commission and the security agencies on the one hand, and among the security agencies on the other, ensured a seamless coordination of efforts resulting in the widely acclaimed success of the election. Security was well-coordinated. The election was peaceful.
”Personnel and materials were deployed promptly. Election Day processes commenced as scheduled. Election technology functioned optimally. Results were transmitted from the Polling Units and collated at the various collation centres in record time. I must, on behalf of the Commission, convey our appreciation to all members of ICCES for the success of the election. We must continue to build on the success of the Ekiti experience to ensure improved performance in subsequent elections, including the 2023 General Election…
“Arising from the experience in recent elections, vote buying remains a major area of concern. We appreciate the role played by the anti-corruption and security agencies in apprehending some of the perpetrators of this brazen assault on our democracy. In particular, we are working with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to ensure the prosecution of persons arrested in the recent Ekiti Governorship election.
“Action will commence as soon as the EFCC completes its investigation. I appeal to all security agencies to continue to join hands with the Commission to tackle this menace”.
Prof Yakubu expressed concern that Nigeria Election rank top among the most litigated in the world pointing out the already 216 requests involving over 1,650,000 pages of documents have been made to the commission by persons and groups asking for CTC of documents with intendment to seek redress in court.
“Indeed, there are now far more cases challenging the breach of internal democracy within political parties than those involving the conduct of the main elections by INEC. We will continue to work round the clock, including the weekends, to ensure that we attend to all applications received at the headquarters of the Commission promptly”.