Fear grips Sokoto INEC officials as umpire may probe ‘inconclusive’ claims
By Nasir Dambatta, in Abuja
As governorship polls draws closer, the Independent National Electoral Commission( INEC) Chairman, Professor Mahmoud Yakubu has warned staff on dereliction of duty and compromise. This is just as fear grips Sokoto INEC officials over series of petitions alleging compromise, leading to tensions in the Commission.
The electoral umpire Chairman dropped the hint in an interactive session with media menlan in Abuja.
“As we approach the Governorship and State Assembly elections, we must work harder to overcome the challenges experienced in the last election. Nothing else will be acceptable to Nigerians. All staff found to be negligent, whether they are regular or ad hoc officials, including Collation and Returning Officers, must not be involved in forthcoming elections. RECs must also immediately initiate disciplinary action where prima facie evidence of wrongdoing has been established”, the INEC boss stressed.
He also cleared the air on what the commission intends to about preparations for the upcoming governorship and State Assembly elections.
“Election Day logistics must be finalised days before the election and handled by the Electoral Officers (EOs) at Local Government level. This has been our standard practice.”
He then sheds more light about deployment of elections materials: “Centralising the process as was done in some States resulted in delayed deployment of personnel and materials and late commencement of polls.”
Turning to allegations and petitions regarding the presidential and National Assembly elections, he said: “Arising from last week’s election, the Commission has received reports from our State offices well as complaints and petitions from political parties and candidates. Where infractions of any kind are proven, there will be redress. I must add that any action taken by the Commission is without prejudice to the rights of parties and candidates to seek further remedy as provided by law”, he added.