From Desmond Mgboh, Kano
Ahead of the forthcoming 2023 general elections, the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Kano State Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Shehu A Risqua, has called for the establishment of an Electoral Offences Commission.
He said the proposed Commission would be assigned the responsibility of recording, investigating and prosecuting violators and offenders of the Electoral Act during the polls.
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Speaking Tuesday in Kano, at a one day workshop on Electoral Reportage, Risqua proposed that the Commission would go a long way in checking a number of electoral irregularities, including violence and the snatching of ballot boxes that do occur during elections in Nigeria.
He explained that the INEC would be too involved with the successful conduct of the elections to be able to undertake the additional assignments of arresting and subsequently prosecuting violators of the electoral laws of the land
He appealed to the media to exercise restraint while discharging their constitutional functions as well as assist in recording evidence of electoral violations and breaches saying the authorities were very determined to check these excesses during the 2023 general elections.
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Professor Risqua further lauded the ongoing online registration of voters in the state and in the country at large, saying the exercise has considerably reduced congestion at registration points
He, however, expressed regrets at the number of incomplete cases, saying a large number of the online registrants, had failed to come over to INEC centres to physically complete their registration process..
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He also decried the number of double registration so far recorded, insisting that of the 128, 628 completed registration cases in the state, 51, 273 cases representing about 40 per cent, were not valid as a result of double registration.
He announced that INEC has converted a total of 3048 voting centres in the state to polling units, adding that the state now has a total of 11,222 polling units even as he added that some polling units were relocated from their previous locations to new sites in a bid to serve the voters better.