Winners will no longer be declared in violent elections, INEC vows

By Isa Amodu, Abuja

Henceforth, winners will not be declared in elections marred by violence, the Independent National Electoral Commission has vowed.

INEC said it will no longer go well for politicians who rely on violence and other means outside the confines of the law to be declared winners and defend same at the Law Courts.

The Commission has vowed that going forward, even though it has no power to cancel elections, it will no longer declare winners in manipulated elections or where Returning Officers are threatened.

The electoral umpire also said that elections will no longer proceed in any constituency where the safety of voters, personnel and materials is threatened.

INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, gave the hint at the meeting of the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) in Abuja.

According to him, “going forward, INEC has decided that although the Commission has no power under the law to cancel an election, it will not proceed with the process in any constituency where the safety of voters, our personnel and materials is threatened.

“Furthermore, collation of results will not proceed where the collation centres are invaded. No declaration of winners will be made where Returning Officers are threatened”.

The Commission has also strengthened measures to check illegal deployment of money by politicians to influence outcome of elections by drafting the

“You will similarly recall that at our last meeting, we expressed concern about the dimension that illegal deployment of financial resources to influence the outcome of elections, including vote-buying at polling units on Election Day, has assumed.

“At the meeting, recognising the existing collaboration with the anti-corruption agencies in tracking financial flows for illicit purposes as well as the arrest and prosecution of perpetrators of such flows, especially for the purpose of corrupting the electoral process through vote-buying, resolved that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) should be included as members of ICCES”, the INEC chair added.