INEC counters Buhari, says only Electoral Act will be used to punish electoral offenders

Mahmood Yakubu

The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, has said that electoral offenders would be dealt with according to the dictates of the provisions of the Electoral Act.

He was speaking on Tuesday at the National Election Collation Centre, located at the International Conference Centre (ICC), Abuja, while addressing stakeholders.

The INEC Chairman also denied that a National Commissioner, Prof Okechukwu Ibeanu, and four other officials of the commission were summoned by the State Security Service (SSS) for questioning over the postponement of this year’s general elections by a week.

President Muhammadu Buhari, at a meeting of the All Progressives Congress (APC) caucus in Abuja, had said that ballot box snatchers should be ready to pay with their lives.

However, reacting to questions on the president’s comment, Yakubu said that ballot box snatchers should be punished only in accordance with the electoral law.

“The position of the commission is that all violators of the Electoral Act should be punished according to the provisions of the Electoral Act,” he said.

Also, on the reported arrest of INEC officials by the SSS, Yakubu said: “No commissioner of INEC was picked by DSS. No commissioner’s house was raided. The commissioner they are talking about is now (Tuesday) in his office working at the commission’s headquarters.”