Elections: Institute partners IPAC on candidates’ documents screening


 The National Chartered Institute of Forensics and Certified Fraud Investigators of Nigeria, has pledged to work with Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC), to authenticate certificates and documents presented by elective offices seekers before elections.

Dr Iliyasu Gashinbaki, Pioneer President and Chairman,  Governing Council, made this known at a meeting with the national leadership of IPAC in Abuja on Tuesday.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Institute was established in 2022 to build capacity training and regulate forensic activities in the country.

Gashinbaki said the institute would work with IPAC to authenticate the documents of aspirants contesting for elections before the 2027 general elections.

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He said that before the end of 2024,  the institute would establish two laboratories that would help in detecting any anomaly in  documents presented by candidates before participating in party primaries especially during the 2027 general elections.

Gashinbaki, who said that the institute would work with IPAC to strengthen Nigeria electoral process, added that politics is too important to be left in the hands of politicians.

“We’ve had several instances where we know that if forensic tools had been deployed,  it would have saved the country embarrassment and even the stress the electorate went through.

“A typical case in point is the case of Bayelsa where an elected governor was nullified because of certificate forgery that shouldn’t have happened.

“The person that the masses elected was a different person and the court nullified it. We’re talking to all the political parties in Nigeria. We’ve seen the decline of governance in Africa.

“This is the reason for multiple coups across Africa. One of the ways to address impunity is to tackle recruitment process of people that occupy political offices from the councilor to the President.

“For this reason, we are setting up two laboratories that will be too critical for the 2027 general elections to ensure that no dubious or forged document of any kind will be submitted by politicians during the elections.

“We’ve had instances of forged NYSC certificates, tax clearance certificates, academic certificates filled in by politicians like in Bayelsa, to stand for elections and this leads the country to embarrassment and the electorate are shortchanged.

“We’ll work with IPAC to help in authentication of the documents of candidates that will stand elections before primaries.”

In his remarks, the IPAC Chairman, Alhaji Yusuf Dantalle, described the move as a positive development that must be encouraged in the country.

He said though the process might come with some elements of resistance, it was in the interest of democracy in the country.

“One day, I pray we’ll all agree as Nigerians that we want a better system for all of us, as long as we refuse to domesticate the solutions to our problems or refuse to identify the foundation of our problems.

“I think some of these problems are self-inflicted because we know what to do to get out of the mess we’re in but somehow, for personal gains, we do not want to.

“This partnership, for me and the council, is a welcome development. It must be encouraged and consolidated,”he said. (NAN)

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