Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC), Attahiru Jega, ahead of the 2015 election, on Wednesday said no official of the commission was immune to prosecution if they were found wanting, as regards electoral malpractices.
He disclosed this during the official unveiling/public presentation of Strategic Programme of Action of INEC from 2012 to 2016 to Political Parties and electoral stakeholders in Abuja.
Jega’s warning came on the heels of concerns raised by some chairmen of political Parties including Chiefs Sam Nkire of the Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA), Chekwas Okorie of the United Progressive Party (UPP) and Victor Umeh of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA).
Speaking separately, they questioned the autonomy and transparency of the commission; the failure to deal with corrupt officials of the commission, and the problems involved in the use of ad hoc staff.
The chairman who said that there were bad eggs in the commission, said that many staff of the commission who compromised standards had been either prosecuted or dismissed from their duties without fanfare.
Jega said, “INEC officials are not immune to prosecution. In fact, since we came here, as a Commission we have prosecuted INEC officials, probably it was not well advertised but prosecuted INEC officials who have been found guilty of breaching established laws, rules and regulations; we have also quietly shown people the way out. There were many people who were indicted for activities incompatible with the objectives and responsibility they were expected to bring to this job. We have retired people. We have dismissed people and asked people to withdraw their services. We have done a lot quietly and it is not something that really should have been advertised in our view.