Ekiti Election: INEC Warns Voters And Politicians

By Ikenga Chronicles July 14, 2018

Ekiti Election: INEC Warns Voters And Politicians

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has cautioned politicians against campaigning, directly or indirectly, and inducement of voters within or outside the polling zones.

The commission also advised the electorate to go back home after voting or stay, at least, 300 metres away from the polling zones, in line with the electoral law.

The Deputy Director (Voters Education), Mr Ayo Aluko, while shedding light on INEC’s position during an interview on Saturday said: “Giving inducement in form of money or materials to persuade voters to vote against candidates of their choice is wrong. It becomes an election offence for anybody to compromise people by bribing them to vote for a particular candidate within the polling zones or anywhere else in the state, especially as the election holds.

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“Apart from preaching morality, we want members of the public to know that offering inducement to voters is a crime and violators that are caught during the process shall be brought to book.”

The Electoral Act 2010 (as amended), Section 130 reads in part: “A person who corruptly by himself or by any other person at any time after the date of an election has been announced, directly or indirectly gives or provides or pays money to or for any person for the purpose of corruptly influencing that person or any other person to vote or refrain from voting at such election, or on account of such person or any other person having voted or refrained from voting at such election: or (b) being a voter, corruptly accepts or takes money or any other inducement during any of the period stated in paragraph (a) of this section, commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine of N100,000:00 or imprisonment for a term of 12 months or both.”

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Assuring the public that proper arrangements were in place to ensure a hitch-free process, Aluko explained that security of voters, safety of election officials as well as materials were guaranteed.

“The people of Ekiti should see this as an opportunity to come out and decide who they want to be their governor. The presence of security officials is not intended to prevent or discourage anybody. Take your voter cards, go to the polling stations, vote and don’t allow yourself to be used by any politician to cause trouble. Voters shall be accredited and shall vote almost immediately,” he stressed.

The commission’s Director (Information and Communication Technology), Chidi Nwaifor, dispelled the claim that the process had been scheduled to be manipulated in favour of a particular candidate, saying that such was not possible, considering the facilities and modalities in place for the process.

Nwaifor said the claims that the card readers had been pre-loaded were false and baseless. According to him, three processes have been put in place to prevent sharp practices.

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“Before voting, prospective voters are to pass through identification, verification and authentication. Your voter card shall be checked by the Assistant Presiding Officer. The APO will direct you to where you are supposed to vote.

“The card readers were not allowed to function until 72 hours to the exercise and the cards shall be activated only on Election Day. It will interest you to note that each card reader is configured to work only in specific polling units. And we have spare card readers; where one fails to work, we have an alternative as replacement,” he explained.