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Transfer cases of electoral offences to INEC, IGP tells police commissioners


 

Usman Baba, inspector-general of police, has asked commissioners of police to hand over the case files of electoral offences to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for prosecution.

 

Baba also directed that elections-related investigations involving the presidential and national assembly elections should be “swiftly concluded”.

 

Muyiwa Adejobi, force spokesperson, in a statement on Monday, said the IGP has asked Nigerians to collaborate with the police to ensure a “hitch-free security architecture”.

 

“The inspector-general of police, IGP Usman Alkali Baba, CFR, has directed commissioners of police in charge of state commands to ensure that investigations in all cases of violations against the 2022 Electoral Act during the February 25th 2023 presidential and national assembly electioneering process are swiftly concluded and the case files forwarded to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for prosecution,” the statement reads.

 

 “In a bid to ensure all-inclusive election security management and accord Nigerians benefits/leverage of active participation, to achieve free, fair, and credible gubernatorial and state houses of assembly elections on 18th March, 2023, the IGP has tasked strategic police managers to engage stakeholders in their respective jurisdictions through town hall meetings and other viable avenues.”

 

The electoral act of 2022 empowers INEC to prosecute electoral offenders.

 

Section 145 (2) of the act states: “A prosecution under this Act shall be undertaken by legal officers of the commission or any legal practitioner appointed by it.”

 

In August 2022, Mahmood Yakubu, chairman of INEC, said the prosecution of electoral offenders had been “very challenging” for the commission.

 

Yakubu supported the bill for the establishment of a commission that would be charged with the responsibility of prosecuting electoral offenders.

 

The INEC chairman had spoken during the public hearing organised by the house of representatives committee on electoral matters for a bill to establish the National Electoral Offences Commission.

 

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