Lawmaker calls for unbundling of INEC

The chairman, House Committee on Electoral Matter, Adebayo Balogun, has called for the unbundling of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) because it is already saddled with a lot of responsibilities.

Hon Balogun said that there were some responsibilities that needed to be removed from INEC and allow other existing or newly created agencies to handle so that INEC would be more efficient.

In an interview at a round table and Public Presentation of Policy Papers on Citizens’ Rights and Impact of Insecurity on Elections organised by the Electoral Hub in collaboration with the Open Society Foundation (OSF) Africa in Abuja, Hon Balogun said that INEC’s responsibility on publicity to enlighten voters could also be moved to the National orientation agency (NOA).

He assured that they are working on a lot of things but, “the one that actually relates to what we have here today is unbundling INEC to remove the aspect that has to do with Electoral offenses and violence and to bring it on a separate agency.”

According to him, they are pushing up for a bill for the establishment of the electoral offenses commission and tribunal that will be able to focus on issues that have to do with violence, vote buying and any act of offenses that happens before, during after election.

“This is because we believe that INEC is overburdened with so much responsibilities. They should be able to concentrate on electoral matters and let other areas be done by some other agencies,’’ he said.

Balogun said that with the creation of an electoral offenses agency, it will be able to handle the areas that has to do with violence adding that the agency would encompass various security agencies working to see how they would fashion a way out to tackle security challenges during elections.

“We need a professional body when we are talking about fighting security because dealing with insecurity is a professional thing and INEC should not be saddled with that.

“So we should bring professionals in that field to look at it and come up with solutions so that they can be more efficient,” he said

Balogun however, said that the quick fix against violence in the forthcoming off-cycle elections was for stakeholders to talk their family members in Kogi, Bayelsa, and Imo and let peace reign.

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