By Terese Tse
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has announced the date for the 2023 general elections in the country.
INEC chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu made the announcement Wednesday during a one-day public hearing on the National Electoral Offences Commission (Establishment) Bill 2012, organized by the Senate committee on INEC.
According to the INEC boss, the 2023 general elections are exactly one year, nine months, two weeks and six days or 660 days away.
“By the principle established by the commission, the 2023 General Election will hold on Saturday, 18th February, 2023 which is exactly one year, nine months, two weeks and six days or 660 days,” he said.
“We hope to release the Timetable and Schedule immediately after the Anambra Governorship election scheduled to hold on the 6th November, 2021.
“In order to do so, there should be clarity and certainty about the electoral legal framework to govern the election. We are confident that the National Assembly will do the needful in earnest,” he added.
He lamented that the delay in the prosecution of electoral offenders has been one of the most challenging tasks for the commission since its establishment.
Yakubu noted that one of the numerous responsibilities carried out by the commission is the prosecution of electoral offenders, describing it as the most challenging duty for INEC.
He added, “For instance, since the 2015 general election, 125 cases of electoral offences were filed in various courts out of which 60 convictions have been secured so far, including the most recent one in Akwa Ibom state.
“The commission would like to see more successful prosecutions of offenders, not just of ballot snatchers and falsifiers of election results but most importantly their sponsors.
“We look forward to the day when highly placed sponsors of thuggery, including party chieftains and candidates that seek to benefit from violations of the law, are apprehended. We believe that the work of the proposed commission will help in this regard.”