The Independent National Electoral Commission has blamed insecurity for majority of the elections it declared inconclusive.
This is as the police high command said 58 high profile arrests were made during this year’s general elections.
INEC Chairman Prof Mamood Yakubu spoke yesterday in Abuja, the nation’s capital, during the commission’s meeting with security agencies that participated in the polls.
The commission’s meeting with the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) was in continuation of this year’s general election review meetings.
It had announced to begin a national dialogue on the last general elections with the aim of correcting the shortcomings identified in the February and March polls.
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Yakubu, who is the co-chair of ICCES, said the commission was awaiting case files of those arrested for electoral offences to begin prosecution.
But the police claimed that 38 of the 58 electoral offenders were already undergoing prosecution.
Yakubu said: “From our assessment, insecurity, as a result of violent disruption of processes, was the major reason why a number of elections had to be declared inconclusive. There is, therefore, an organic link between security and the conduct of peaceful elections.
“At the same time, we must cast our nets wide. I am happy to note that the Nigeria Police Force made several arrests of alleged electoral offenders during the general election. We have since requested the police to avail us of the case files so that we can initiate their immediate prosecution.”
The INEC chairman promised to champion the call for creation of a different body to deal with electoral offences.
He said: “While we will continue to do our best working with the security agencies in this regard, I wish to renew the call for the establishment of the Electoral Offences Tribunal. We shall work with the National Assembly to ensure the passage of a private member’s Bill sponsored in the Senate by the former Chairman of the Senate Committee on INEC, Senator Abubakar Kyari and in the House of Representatives by Francis Charles Uduyok.
“Their effort was reinforced by an Executive Bill submitted to the National Assembly arising from the report of the Ken Nnamani Committee on Electoral Reform.”