By Sunday Isuwa |
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has expressed concern over the delay in the amendment of the Electoral Act, stating that the document may make or mar the 2023 general elections.
INEC has also announced that the 2023 presidential election will hold on February18, 2023.
Speaking at a public hearing on the Electoral Offences Commission Bill organised by the Senate Committee on INEC, the chairman of the commission, Prof Mahmoud Yakubu, said the commission is worried that the delay in the Electoral Act amendment may affect the preparations for the next general election.
“We are anxious to know the legal framework to govern the conduct of the 2023 general elections,” Yakubu said while expressing disappointment that barely a year and nine months to the general election, the National Assembly is yet to pass the electoral act amendment bill.
He said: “The 2023 general elections will hold on Saturday, February 18, 2023 which is exactly one year, nine months, two weeks and six days away from today (yesterday).”
Expressing the support of INEC for the Electoral Offences Commission Bill, Yakubu lamented that the public hearing on the bill is being done 13 years after the recommendation of the Uwais Committee.
“We look forward to the day when highly placed sponsors of thuggery, including chieftains of political parties and candidates, will be prosecuted,” Yakubu said.
The chairman of the Senate Committee on INEC, Senator Kabiru Gaya explained that the bill provides for the Commission to investigate and prosecute electoral offenders on the powers of the attorney general, and adopt measures to prevent, minimize and eradicate electoral offences.