Chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu

Prof Mahmood Yakubu, Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has called on the National Assembly to hasten the passage of the Bill for an Act to establish the National Electoral Offences Commission.

Yakubu said this on Thursday in Lagos during a retreat for members of the National Assembly on the review of the electoral legal framework.

He noted that the nation could no longer afford to foot drag on this important legislation which would provide the framework for dealing with impunity and banditry in elections.

“This is becoming more brazen, especially because violators of electoral laws are not effectively prosecuted.

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“The Uwais committee on electoral reform recommended it in 2009, the Lemu committee on the 2011 post-election violence made a similar recommendation which was accepted by the government in white paper.

“Most recently, the Nnamani committee on electoral reform made the same recommendation on the prosecution of electoral offences.

“The commission would like the 9th National Assembly to make history by passing the Bill into law; it is time to walk the talk,” he said

The INEC chairman, however, commended the National Assembly at the historic meeting of lawmakers and election managers on the reform of the legal framework.

“I am confident that we will have a robust discussion in the best interest of our electoral and democratic processes,” he said

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The Electoral offences Commission (Establishment) Bill 2020, sponsored in the Senate by Sen. Abubakar Kyari and co-sponsored by Sen. vie Omo-Agege, passed the first reading on Thursday, February 27 and recently passed the second reading on Wednesday, March 4.