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NIGERIA’S general election will begin on Saturday, February 18, 2023, according to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
INEC Chief Press Secretary Rotimi Oyekanmi confirmed this to The ICIR in a telephone conversation. He said Chairman of the commission Mahmood Yakubu disclosed it on Wednesday during a one-day public hearing on the National Electoral Offences Commission (Establishment) Bill 2021, organised by the Senate Committee on INEC.
Yakubu said the 2023 general elections were exactly one year, nine months, two weeks and six days or 660 days from April 28, 2021.
“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 from today,” Yakubu said.
He noted that the commission hoped to release the Timetable and Schedule of Activities for the General Election immediately after the Anambra governorship election scheduled to hold on November 6, 2021.
However, he said that to release the schedule and timetable, the INEC needed to be clear and certain about the electoral framework that would govern the conduct of the elections, stating that one of the most challenging duties of the INEC had been the prosecution of electoral offenders in the country.
He further stated that out of the 125 cases of electoral offences filed across the courts of law in the country in the 2015 general elections, only 60 convictions had been secured so far.
“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,” Yakubu stated.
There is a provision for the establishment of the Electoral Offences Commission Bill before the National Assembly and the Electoral Act (2010) Amendment Bill (2020), although they have not been passed. The Senate has said it is committed to the passage of the Electoral Act (2010) Amendment Bill (2020).
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