From Taiwo Amodu, Abuja
Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmoud Yakubu, has declared that the commission was determined to take steps that would punish politicians found culpable for electoral malfeasance.
Professor Yakubu said banning those found guilty from seeking elective office would serve as deterrence.
He made the declaration yesterday at the Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room stakeholders forum on elections, held at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja.
Professor Yakubu expressed concern that the electoral body has been faced with the challenges of having to conduct rerun and bye elections which, he noted, were more strenuous than the general elections.
He further noted that general elections have less concentration of individual politicians’ attention compared to bye elections and rerun elections.
He said the commission would go back to the drawing board for the review of its security situations at election centres.
He further decried the non implementation of the Justice Mohammed Uwais report that recommended punitive measures against electoral offenders.
In his remarks, Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, assured the electorate that the present administration was determined to carry out comprehensive legal reform to address the challenges posed by outdated electoral laws.
The minister submitted that “our democracy can only work and deliver accountable government, where elected officials see themselves as servants of the people, who must subject themselves to credible periodic elections.”
“Those who are elected must understand that they face the risk of being voted out of office at the expiry of their tenure by the same electorate that chose them”.
The minister of justice said the priority area of the present administration would be clearly outlined in the justice sector reform that was proposed to the National Assembly which, he said, would be aligned to achieve the agenda of reform within life span of the administration.