By Chimezie Godfrey
This was revealed in a statement by the Commission’s National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye.
Okoye noted that the reorganization has become necessary as the Commission prepares for major off cycle Governorship elections and the 2023 general election.
He said,”The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) met today 22nd April 2021 and among other issues, deliberated on the reorganization of its Department of Legal Services, Clearance and Complaints (LSC&CC) and that of Voter Education and Publicity (VEP).
“As the Commission prepares for major off cycle Governorship elections and the 2023 general election, it has become imperative to review and realign some of its departments for improved effectiveness and efficient management of its human resources and assets.
“Based on this, the Commission has created two (2) departments out of the present Department of Legal Services, Clearance and Complaints (LSC&CC). In the new arrangement, a Department of Litigation and Prosecution (DL&P) and a Department of Legal Drafting and Clearance (LDCD) have been established.”
The INEC Commissioner further disclosed that the Commission approved the de-establishment of the Voter Education, Publicity, Gender and Civil Society Liaison Department (VEP) and in its place established the Voter Education and Publicity Department (VEP), as well as the Gender and Inclusivity Department (GID).
According to him, the changes in the Department of Legal Services, Clearance and Complaints (LSC&CC) are urgent and imperative as the Commission is determined to strengthen its statutory powers of prosecuting electoral offenders.
In thesame vein, Okoye stressed that the Commission is also determined to proactively communicate its policies and programmes to the Nigerian people and effectively engage and mainstream women’s groups, persons living with disability and other marginalized individuals in the electoral process.
According to him, these reorganizations and realignments would not affect the structure and functions of the State Offices of the Commission.
He assured that the Legal Services and the Alternative Dispute Resolution Desks at the state level will still function under the Head of Department of Legal Services, while that of Gender and Inclusivity will remain under the Head of Department of Voter Education and Publicity.
Okoye stressed that the re-organisation will be implemented with immediate effect.