Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says the next general elections in Nigeria will be held on Saturday, February 18 2023.
INEC Chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu stated this on Wednesday during a public hearing on the National Electoral Offences Commission Bill, organised by the Senate Committee on INEC.
Prof Yakubu noted that the INEC will introduce far-reaching reforms aimed at improving Nigeria’s electoral process.
“By the principle established by the Commission, the 2023 General Election will hold on Saturday 18th February 2023 which is exactly one year, nine months, two weeks and six days or 660 days from today,” the INEC boss said at the hearing.
“We hope to release the Timetable and Schedule of Activities for the General Election immediately after the Anambra Governorship election scheduled to hold on 6th November 2021.
“In order to do so, there should be clarity and certainty about the electoral legal framework to govern the election. We are confident that the National Assembly will do the needful in earnest.”
The INEC chairman said sponsors of electoral violence should also be prosecuted and not just those directly involved such as ballot box snatchers.
“Of the numerous responsibilities carried out by the commission, the prosecution of electoral offenders, has been one of the most challenging,” he said.
“For instance, since the 2015 general elections, 125 cases of electoral offences were filed in various courts out of which 60 convictions have been secured so far, including the most recent one in Akwa Ibom state.
“The commission would like to see more successful prosecution of offenders, not just of ballot box snatchers and falsifiers of election results but most importantly their sponsors.
“We look forward to the day when highly placed sponsors of thuggery, including party chieftains and candidates that seek to benefit from violations of the law, are apprehended.”
By Abel Ejikeme