The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said it had received 126 case files from the Nigerian Police for the prosecution of electoral violence during the conduct of the 2015 general election till date.
The INEC chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, according to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), disclosed this when he received the Inspector General of Police Special Investigative Panel on the December 10 Rivers State Legislative rerun, on Wednesday, in Abuja.
Yakubu said 61 out of the files received on the election offenders had been successfully prosecuted as a result of INEC’s collaboration with security agencies on the matter.
We have cooperated with the security agencies, particularly the police in past, in prosecuting electoral offenders.
“Since 2015 general election and the rerun in 2016, we have received 120 case files from the police for prosecution.
“I am happy to say that we have so far recorded 61 successful prosecutions as a result of the cooperation with the security agencies.
“The biggest one came after the disruption of the April 2016 rerun in Kano State, in a constituency in Minjibir Local Government Area.
“In the election, over 40 offenders were successfully prosecuted in a joint effort between the commission and the security agency, the highest number of prosecution the commission has ever achieved,” he said.
Yakubu, who expressed INEC delight in the IG for setting up the special investigative panel, assured of full cooperation with security agencies in their investigation.
Whatever you require to facilitate investigation from the commission, rest assured that the commission will be forthcoming.
“On our own, the commission has also set up administrative review of what transpired in Rivers so that where our staff are found to be culpable, we will deal with the situation.
“We have very good staff in the commission but where our staff erred, they will be dealt with. “The most important thing in this situation is to learn lesson and see how we move forward,” he said.
He said the commission required the cooperation and involvement of security agencies to carry out its statutory responsibilities, including successful conduct of peaceful elections.
Yakubu also disclosed that so far, since the last general election, INEC had conducted 163 elections, from rerun to by-elections nationwide.
“We still have six more rerun between January and February, including the replacement over the death of the member of the Delta State House of Assembly.”
The leader of the 10-man investigative panel, Mr Dan Okoro, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Force CID, had earlier said they were at the INEC headquarters to seek the commission’s support on the investigation.
“We are here to introduce ourselves, engage, interact with INEC on our mission to enable us to handle this national assignment successfully,” Okoro said.
Okoro, in an interview with newsmen after the closed door session, described the meeting as fruitful.