Categories: GeneralOn the GoThe Nation

INEC seeks powers to withhold certificates of candidates declared winner under duress

Chinedu Asadu

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has called for the amendment of electoral laws to empower it to withhold certificates of return of candidates declared winners under duress.

Festus Okoye, chairman of INEC information and voter education committee, said this at a workshop organised by the Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre (PLAC), in Abuja on Monday.

The commission had withheld the certificate of return of Rochas Okorocha, who it claimed was declared winner of the Imo west senatorial election, under duress but an Abuja court later ruled that the electoral body has no such powers.

Speaking at the event on Monday, Okoye said the commission will make proposals to the national assembly which will clarify and strengthen its powers in relation to declaration and returns by collation and returning officers.

“Declarations and returns must be made voluntarily and not through duress and other unwholesome practices,” he said.

“To this extent, the commission must retain the discretion to take urgent and remedial actions in clear cases of the violation of its regulations and guidelines in the conduct of elections.”

He also said the commission would propose the review of section 31 of the electoral act, 2010, to enable it enforce the qualifying threshold of those contesting elections.

“The implication is that the commission can close its eyes to the nomination of non-Nigerians and infants by political parties to contest governorship and other elections,” he said.

“The commission is irrevocably committed to the enhancement of the power of the smart card reader as the dominant procedure for verification, accreditation and proving over voting in the electoral process.

“The commission will therefore seek the incorporation of the smart card reader in section 49 of the Electoral Act, 2010(as amended). The individuals holding the permanent voters cards must be the ones voting and not the cards.”

Recent Posts

  • On the Go
  • The Nation

Boko Haram burns UN facility in Borno

Edward Kallon, United Nations humanitarian coordinator in Nigeria, has reacted to the burning of the organisation's facility in Ngala, Borno…

9 mins ago
  • International
  • On the Go
  • Top Stories

Buhari asks Britain to go after Nigerian fugitives in UK

President Muhammadu Buhari has asked the United Kingdom to investigate "Nigerian fugitives" who "escaped to the UK" amid corruption allegations.…

23 mins ago
  • On the Go
  • Top Stories

I owe no one apology for endorsing Obaseki, says PDP BoT member

Daisy Danjuma, a member of the board of trustees of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has defended her decision to…

43 mins ago
  • On the Go
  • Top Stories

Boko Haram cuts off Maiduguri from national grid

Boko Haram insurgents have cut off Maiduguri, Borno state capital, from the national electricity grid.  In a statement on Monday,…

1 hour ago
  • On the Go
  • Top Stories

Uzodinma describes PDP protest as an attempt to overthrow Buhari

Hope Uzodinma, governor of Imo state, has described the demonstration against his victory at the supreme court as an attempt to overthrow…

2 hours ago