INEC bars CBN from keeping sensitive election materials

The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mahmood Yakubu, says that sensitive electoral materials will in the meantime no longer be routed through the Central bank of Nigeria (CBN).

This new decision by the electoral body might not be unconnected with the perceived partisanship of the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, by some stakeholders and a good number of Nigerians due to his alleged interest in contesting for the office of the president in the 2023 general election under the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) platform.

This was made known by Yakubu while responding to questions at an ongoing election dialogue, ‘The Electorate’, organized by Enough is Enough on Saturday in Abuja.

Yakubu also specifically noted that beginning with the Ekiti State Governorship election, INEC will not keep its sensitive materials with the CBN.

He said that the decision by INEC is to guarantee that electoral materials that are to be used for the elections are not compromised.

What you should know

Recall that earlier in May, the INEC Chairman had at a consultative meeting with the media in Abuja, hinted that the electoral body might move sensitive electoral materials from the CBN to another location.
While responding to a question on the political ambition and partisanship of the CBN Governor, Yakubu said the commission might be forced to find another arrangement for the handling of sensitive materials.
He said, “But I understand the context in which the question is asked. But you should also understand the context in which events are unfolding. As we speak, our director, litigation and prosecution is in court.
“There is a case in court. We have been invited to state our own side of the story. We usually refrain from talking about such issues because there is essentially subjudice.
“But we are already started talking about what alternatives are available to us in case we need to change the arrangement for the handling of sensitive materials. We have started thinking about it. We are aware of the situation. We will watch the situation. We still have 9 months before the next general elections.
“Things may be addressed before then. I want to assure you that we will not jeopardize the conduct of the election by creating a misconception around the situation in the process.”

Several individuals and interest groups have raised serious concern about the sanctity of elections materials kept with the CBN, after stories about the CBN governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, indicating interest to contest for the country’s presidential seat hit the airwaves in recent months.

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