Buhari swears in new INEC Commissioners

President Muhammadu Buhari has said that election tribunals should go beyond cancelling and ordering rerun of an election to investigating and prosecuting those indicted for electoral offences.

The president said this at the State House Abuja while swearing in the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, and five national commissioners of the commission.

Buhari said anyone found to have perpetrated electoral malpractice — whether they are individuals, candidates or party agents; institutions such as political parties or electoral body; or public officers like electoral staff and security agents — should be prosecuted.
He noted that it was high time the country’s justice system addressed the shortcomings in the justice administration of the electoral tribunals.

He therefore directed that perpetrators of electoral violence and thuggery should not be spared, saying until the system stops covering up all forms of electoral malpractice, Nigeria could hardly get it right.

“It is long overdue that our justice system addresses these shortcomings. It is not just enough for an election to be cancelled and a new one ordered. It would be much better if all whose actions or inactions led to the cancellation of such election are investigated and if culpable prosecuted, whether they are individuals, candidates or party agents, institutions such as political party, electoral body, or public officers as electoral staff or security agents.

“Similarly, perpetrators of electoral violence and thuggery should not be spared. Unless our system stops covering up all forms of electoral malpractices we can hardly get it right. No system endures with impunity,” he said.

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