Drama as Reps Committee meet over attacks on INEC offices

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There was some confusion on Friday during the public hearing of the House of Representatives Adhoc Committee on attacks on Independent National Electoral Commission offices across the country. The confusion started when a representative of the Attorney-General of the Federation, Yusuf Abdullahi, who is a deputy director, told the House Committee, that there has been no request received from any security agency or INEC for the prosecution of persons arrested for attacks on the electoral body’s facilities.

The lawmakers pressed further, saying that the police had claimed to have made success in the arrests and prosecution of the attackers. Mr Abdullahi while denying the same submission he made earlier, later claimed that the OAGF had received prosecution requests from the DSS but could not state the details. He was eventually dismissed by the lawmakers to return on a later date. Lawmakers are concerned that the attacks on INEC offices have continued because those arrested have not been prosecuted.

INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, who was present at the hearing stated that from 2019 till date, 50 incidents from 15 states have been recorded. Offices of the electoral body in the South-East have been attacked of recently, with many concerns about the 2023 general elections holding in the region. About four months ago, some suspected arsonists razed an INEC office in Igbo-Eze North Local Government Area of Enugu State.

Also, two offices of INEC, in May 2021, were set ablaze by gunmen in Ebonyi State. The offices are located in Ezza North and Izzi local government areas of the state.

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