The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has warned politicians against electoral malpractice during the governorship and state house of assembly elections scheduled for Saturday. Speaking to reporters on Thursday at the commission’s headquarters in Abuja, Yakubu said that political actors found culpable in any form of malpractice will be denied the certificate of return.
What he said: “The commission is concerned that many of our materials, including ballot boxes, voting cubicles, voters’ registers, and smart cards, were lost to the act of hooliganism and thuggery in the elections held two weeks ago. Most worrisome is the attack on electoral officials. Some of our staff were abducted and taken hostage in an attempt to disrupt elections or influence the outcome.”
“The commission will not tolerate the act of holding our officials hostage and forcing them to declare winner under duress. Where such occurs, the commission will not reward bad behavior by issuing them the certificates of return.”
Why it does not matter: Yakubu is famous for making these kinds of warnings but hardly ever taking action. During the presidential election, despite the widespread malpractice across the country, INEC failed to take action against perpetrators. The same situation had previously occurred in state elections conducted that happened between 2015 and 2019.