Anambra poll: INEC to distribute non-sensitive materials for Owerri

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it will use its zonal headquarters office in Owerri to distribute non-sensitive materials for Anambra governorship election.

The INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, disclosed this during the commission’s quarterly meeting with media executives in Abuja, on Wednesday.

Yakubu said the decision was a result of recent vandalism and attacks on the commission’s facilities in Anambra.

He said that non-sensitive election materials would be distributed from the INEC zonal office in Owerri to its local government offices in Anambra.

He however expressed happiness that the commission had not witnessed any new attack on its facilities since June.

INEC National Commissioner, Prof. Okechukwu Ibeanu, said the use of zonal office in Owerri became necessary as the commission was yet to fully recover from those recent attacks on its facilities in the state.

Ibeanu, who is also the Chairman, Electoral Operations and Logistics  Committee (EOLC), recalled that over 50 per cent of the non-sensitive materials already pulled together for the election was destroyed in those attacks.

But, he said, INEC had mopped up the needed non-materials, including voting cubicles and voting boxes, from other states of the federation.

He said though there was improvement on development of road network in Anambra, the commission was making arrangements for boat for distribution of election materials in riverine areas of the state.

He added that the commission was also going to adopt an application to monitor the distribution.

Expressing concern about security situation in Anambra, Ibeanu said the commission was working with security agencies to ensure the provition of all the needed security for the state election.

He disclosed that the commission needed about 25,000 ad hoc staff to conduct the state election.

Reacting to a question, Ibeanu jettisoned INEC independence as guaranteed by the constitution to taking directive from the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) on election transmission of results as unconstitutional.

He said that going by the constitution, the commission had the power to regulate its procedures but when it comes to imposing duties on any official of the federal government, the president had to approve it.

“Let me then tie this to the suggestion by the National Assembly that to transmit results electronically, INEC has to clear with the NCC, that is absolutely unconstitutional.

“We cannot say that for INEC to transmit election results it has to get approval of another agency of government when actually INEC has the power to impose duty on NCC to achieve the transmission of electronic results.

“So this is my reading of Section 162 of the Constitution. I completely agree with you that in the context underscoring the independence of INEC, Section 162 has done everything that needs to be done.

“What is left is for INEC to use the power that the constitution gave it,” he explained.  (NAN)