EFCC rejects INEC’s call for an Electoral Offence Commission 

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday rejected calls by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the establishment of an Electoral Offence Commission. 

What’s the EFCC’s interest in it? 

Speaking at a public hearing organized by the House of Representatives Committee on Electoral Matters, the EFCC’s Assistant Commandant, Deborah Ademu-Eteh, said there is no need for the establishment of the commission of an electoral offense since elections are held every four years. Further explaining why such agency is not needed, Ademu-Eteh argued that the proposal would constitute a duplication of functions. 

Whose functions? 

The EFCC’s personnel argued that instead of establishing a new agency solely for electoral offenses purposes, existing security agencies should be strengthened to prosecute election-related offenses. On duplication of functions, she stated that election-related offenses are already covered under the penal and criminal codes, the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Act (2000), and the Economic and Financial Crimes (Establishment) Act, 2004. 

What’s INEC’s Argument? 

The Chairman of INEC, Mahmood Yakubu, had earlier made the call for the new Commission, as he argued that INEC is incapacitated in prosecuting electoral offenses because it is currently overburdened with other responsibilities. “Since the 2015 General Election, 125 cases of electoral offenses were filed in various Courts out of which 60 convictions have been secured so far, including the most recent one in Akwa Ibom State”, Yakubu said, as he explained why the new Commission is needed. 

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