- The INEC) has said it was limited in its capacity to stop vote-buying
- INEC director of publicity and voter education, Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi, said the commission does not have the power to arrest people
- The commission also justified why it requires N242bn to conduct the 2019 general election
In its capacity to stop vote-buying, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), director of publicity and voter education, Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi, has said the commission had taken several steps since the issue drew national attention during Edo state governorship election in 2016.
NAIJ.com gathered that the commission said it was limited in its capacity to stop vote-buying.
Osaze-Uzzi, speaking on Channels Television, on Wednesday, Juy 18, said while it was the responsibility of the commission to prosecute those who infringed the electoral laws, including those involved in the act of inducement during elections, he confessed that the commission does not have the power to arrest, a duty he said was meant for security agencies.
He said: “Inducing people is a criminal offence but when it happens around an election hall, then it falls under the provision of the electoral laws and other criminal provisions.
“When it is under the electoral law, the commission has the duty and responsibility to prosecute, but it is for other agencies to arrest and to investigate and on conclusion of their investigation, the commission prosecutes.”
The director justifying the N242 billion proposal to conduct the 2019 general election, said: “You ought to look at the budget in real terms. You ought to look at the value of the naira today and what it was four years ago.
“In many countries you use volunteers and they are not really paid. But here, to train them, you have to give them allowance. To get them to come on election day, you have to vote transport and feeding allowance.
“In 2006, an advert was placed by the commission in many national dailies asking for quality volunteers, retired civil servants, teachers, organised private sector, but they were very few.”
NAIJ.com previously reported that President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday, July 17, informed the National Assembly that the 2019 elections will cost N242.4 billion. The president disclosed this in a letter to the Senate which was read on the floor during plenary session.
President Buhari in the letter explained that implementing a budget of N9.12 trillion for 2018 will be extremely challenging and therefore does not consider it expedient to increase the 2018 budget to accommodate the funds needed for the 2019 general elections.
Street Gist: Nigerians Blow Hot as President Buhari Signs 2018 Budget in June on NAIJ.com TV