INEC Denies Investigating Tinubu
Nigeria’s electoral commission denies investigating presidential candidate after security meeting
The Nigerian Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has denied a press release that was issued Friday, that it will be conducting investigations into a presidential candidate on wether he contravened the 2022 Electoral Act. INEC issued the retraction after meeting with security officials in Abuja.
On Saturday, INEC posted on its social media handles that the purported press release signed by Festus Okoye the national commissioner for INEC information was fake. The release stated that an investigation into a case of criminal forfeiture against Alhaji Bola Tinubu, the presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the forthcoming General Election was ongoing and the agency was liaising with the Illinois District Court in the United States of America to determine possible violation of INEC guidelines and the 2022 Electoral Act .
INEC categorically stated in its denial that it was not carrying out an investigation of Tinubu nor wish do so and advised the public to ignore the press release.
The retraction comes after the INEC Chairman Professor Mahmood Yakubu met the National Security Adviser, Major General Babagana Monguno (rtd). The Inspector-General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba, representatives of the armed forces, the intelligence, law enforcement and safety agencies as well as other members of the inter-agency consultative committee on election security(ICCES) in Abuja, Friday.
The security meeting was convened following the uptick in electoral violence. Local Government offices of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Abeokuta South of Ogun State and Ede South of Osun State have been attacked by unidentified hoodlums and increasing attacks on supporters and offices of political parties by opponents recently.
It resolved at the end of the meeting that security agencies will upscale intelligence gathering, sharing and utilisation of same to stem further sabotage. Deployment of joint Security and Safety Teams to all INEC assets and facilities nationwide forthwith. The teams will include, among others, the Police, Army, DSS, Civil Defence and the Federal Fire Service. Major General Modibbo A. Alkali (rtd) the national commissioner for INEC security stated.
“In addition to the measures already taken for the arrest and prosecution of offenders, the Inspector General of Police, as head of the lead agency in internal security, shall convene a meeting of all political parties, candidates and other critical stakeholders to reiterate the imperative of peaceful campaign and to convey the enforcement measures to be taken against violators.” Alkali added.
The electoral body also stated. “Decisive lawful action shall be taken against purveyors of hate speech, incitement to violence, mobilisation of thugs and other violations, including the prompt arrest, investigation and prosecution of offenders in line with the provisions of Sections 92 and 93 of the Electoral Act 2022. Those already arrested will face prosecution immediately.”
The meeting appealed to Nigerians to continue to support INEC and the security agencies to ensure a peaceful and secure environment for the 2023 General Election.