By Abdul Seye
The House of Representatives has resolved to investigate the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) over comments made by the Resident Electoral Commissioner in Akwa-Ibom State, Mike Igini.
This resolution was a sequel to a motion moved by Mark Gbillah on Wednesday during plenary.
Gbillah said Mr Igini recently claimed that any politician with two nomination forms if convicted risks two years imprisonment.
In his motion, Gbillah said the comment by Igini is a misinterpretation of the Electoral Act 2022. He added that lack of due process in the Commission allowed Igini to make such comments.
“The recent unguarded and erroneous interpretation of certain provisions of the 2022 Electoral Act by the INEC Resident Electoral Officer (REC) in Akwa Ibom State, Mr Mike Igini, who while referring to Section 115(d) of the 2022 Electoral Act said amongst several other things that politicians will go to jail
for buying more than one nomination form claiming, “we are preventing them from being candidates for prison and they are calling our names everywhere” implying INEC is making decisions about politicians and the electoral process based on a flawed interpretation of the Act without recourse to the National Assembly or a court of competent jurisdiction for proper interpretation,” he said.
He also criticized the decision of the Commission to end the continuous voter registration despite millions of Nigerians showing readiness to register.
Gbillah stated that INEC cannot be trusted to conduct a credible election in 2023. He faulted the by-elections in Osun and Ekiti states.
The House, therefore, resolved to mandate the committee on Electoral matters to investigate the process of voter registration, including alleged constraints on timely procurement/production of voter’s cards although the year to the 2023 elections.
The committee is to investigate if the comment made by Mr Igini is valid.