Punish electoral offenders, CACOL tells INEC

The Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership (CACOL) says recurring electoral offences are due to the inability of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to punish previous offenders, especially high profile ones.

CACOL said the Electoral Act 2022 can only be effectively implemented if violators of the law do not get away with it.

The Chairman, Debo Adeniran said these at a briefing in Lagos on “prioritising anti-corruption and social inclusion in the 2023 political agenda: imperatives and components”.

He said more “aggressive and comprehensive reforms” were needed despite the passage of the Act.

The group believes there is a need to strengthen the administrative, financial and institutional autonomy of INEC to regulate hate speech during electioneering.

“In most cases, the Electoral Management Body (EMB) could not punish highly placed public officials who violate electoral rules and guidelines mainly due to institutional incapacitation.

“The institutional weakness has hindered effective coordination of the electoral processes by the EMB.

“INEC should be empowered to punish any candidates found to have violated the electoral law by disqualifying and banning them from participating in elections for a minimum of eight years,” CACOL said.



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