INEC arraigns 7 for electoral malpractices during Ondo governorship election

SEVEN persons were yesterday arraigned by the Independent National Electoral Commission for their alleged involvement in some electoral malpractices during the last governorship election in Ondo State.

The suspects were arraigned in two magistrates courts in Akure. They include Adejoye Emmanuel, Olomojuni Morire, Ololajulo Oladeji, Ebigbemi Ayinde, Aminu Sunday, Fagbemi Segun and Tope Awe.

The police prosecuting counsel, Mr. Adeniyi Lawal said the trio of Emmanuel , Morire and Oladeji were arrested for allegedly possessing eight Permanent Voter Cards at Mahin ward 1 unit 16 Igokoda in Ilaje Local Government Area of the state on the election day.. Lawal said Ebigbemi was arrested for causing breach of the peace on the election day.

He said that Sunday, and Segun and Awe were arrested by the police at Oke-Ijebu area of Akure for allegedly being possession of dangerous weapons in his vehicle during the election The alleged accused persons were said to have committed an electoral offence contrary to and punishable under section 129 (1) and (4) of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) .

The counsel to the defendants, Mr. Femi Adetoye argued that the INEC had no constitutional power to prosecute alleged electoral offenders noting that the prosecution of electoral offenders was the duty of the Attorney-General of the state . But the prosecuting counsel disagreed with the defendant noting that with section 150 of the Electoral Act empowered the the commission to prosecute any electoral offender.

Chief Magistrate Victoria Bob-Manuel however agreed with the prosecuting counsel and ordered INEC to go ahead with the prosecution.

Mrs Bob-Manuel therefore adjourned the case till February 16, 2017 for further hearing .

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