Nigeria: INEC Asks For More NYSC Lawyers To Prosecute Electoral Offences

The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has asked the NYSC to post more lawyers to its offices to assist it in the prosecution of some categories of electoral offenders.

The Kogi State INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mr Olusegun Agbaje, made the request in Lokoja on Tuesday while on a courtesy visit to the state Coordinator of the NYSC, Mr Frank Ekpunobi.

He further requested that such lawyers must be graduates of the country’s law school.

Agbaje said the scheme planned to arraign 5, 896 persons in the state for alleged multiple registration and other offences during the last nationwide registration.

He said that the only lawyer posted by the NYSC to the Lokoja office this year had not been to the law school.

The INEC boss, however, lauded the NYSC for supporting the INEC during the April 2011 elections and called on those agitating for the scrapping of the scheme to have a rethink.

He said that preparations for the 2015 general elections would commence earlier than scheduled, adding that INEC would rely on the partnership with the NYSC to better its 2011 performance.

Agbaje also commended corps members that participated in the past elections in the state, stressing that they had proved that Nigeria would continue to remain as an indivisible entity.

Responding, Ekpunobi described the partnership between the NYSC and INEC as a sacred call to national duty, saying that the collaboration had come to stay.

On INEC’s request for more NYSC lawyers, the coordinator promised that more lawyers would be posted to the Lokoja office of INEC “without much delay”.

The INEC Commissioner also paid a similar visit to the state Director of the National Orientation Agency, Chief Ibikule Medubi.

He told the NOA chief that the commission would soon start its voter education campaign from among secondary school pupils and artisans in the state.

Agbaje said that the essence of that was to minimise violence during election and reduce the number of voided votes as witnessed during the 2011 elections.

He thanked the NOA for its support and cooperation to the INEC and urged the organisation to enhance such relationship to ensure successful voter education.

Receiving the visitor, Medubi pledged the commitment of NOA to INEC to enhance the quality of elections in the state and the country in general.

At the NNS Lugard Naval Base Command in Lokoja, the INEC Commissioner commended officers and men of the command for providing effective security during the last elections.

The Commander, Commodore Innocent Yinfaowei, said that his men did their best during the election, especially in Ibaji Local Government Area noted for its difficult terrain.

He promised the command’s continued maximum cooperation to INEC in future elections.

NAN

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