REC threatens to sanction erring officials

The Resident Electoral Commissioner for the Independent National Electoral Commission in Osun State, Dr Mutiu Agboke, has warned against over-voting in the forthcoming elections, noting that those who indulge in it will be arrested by the police.

The REC gave the warning on Saturday during an interaction with journalists held on a Twitter space which was monitored by The PUNCH.

Agboke explained that it was a violation of the electoral law for a voter to vote for more than one candidate or record more than one vote in favour of one candidate in one election.

He said, “Let every Nigerian be told to do the right thing. Party agents and security agencies will be there and there is a code of conduct by INEC. We will monitor the process and where I see that there is an intention to cause over-voting, not just the voter, all poll officials there will be arrested, detained and prosecuted by the police.

“The REC has that power under the Electoral Act, so I have been spreading that awareness. The BVAS is not for voting, it is for accreditation. Voters must pass through the accreditation process by Assistant Presiding Officer 1 and APO 2 and return to the Presiding Officer who will give you the ballot paper, therefore if at any stage a ballot paper is found in your hand, there is a presumption that you have passed through the BVAS before you have the ballot paper.

“BVAS will never cause, induce or perpetrate over-voting but it will expose and unravel any situation that over-voting must have been carried out. Section 51(1) of the Electoral Act provides that, ‘No voter shall vote for more than one candidate or record more than one vote in favour of one candidate at one election.”

The REC added that the electoral law provided that if the number of votes cast at an election in any polling unit exceeded the number of accredited voters in that polling unit, the election result should be cancelled.

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