Nigeria to punish electoral officials found guilty of misconduct

Nigeria to punish electoral officials found guilty of misconduct

Results of Feb. 25 presidential and parliamentary polls are being contested by opposition parties

By Olanrewaju Kola

MAIDUGURI, Nigeria (AA) - The Nigerian election commission on Saturday said it will punish electoral officials found culpable of misconduct during the Feb. 25 presidential and parliamentary polls, the results of which are being contested by opposition parties.

"All staff found to be negligent, whether they are regular or ad hoc officials, including collation and returning officers, we will initiate disciplinary action where prima facie evidence of wrongdoing has been established," Mahmoud Yakubu, head of the country's Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), said at a meeting in the capital Abuja.

He said the commission will not tolerate complicity by its officials, which could affect the credibility of the electoral process.

The commission's head warned against poor arrangement that could affect the forthcoming March 11 governorship and state legislative polls.

Opposition parties are challenging the results of the elections, alleging involvement of officials in malpractices, including snatching of ballot boxes, overvoting and altering of results, among others.

INEC on Wednesday declared Bola Tinubu, candidate of the ruling All Progressive Congress party, as winner of the presidential election. Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi finished behind Tinubu.

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