Attahiru Jega ‘Only INEC can monitor elections,’ Chairman says

Jega also urged election observers to understand Nigeria’s electoral laws before venturing into the field.

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INEC Chairman, Attahiru Jega play

INEC Chairman, Attahiru Jega

(Premium Times)
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The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Attahiru Jega, has said that only the commission has the power to monitor the upcoming general elections.

Jega also urged election observers to understand Nigeria’s electoral laws before venturing into the field.

The INEC Chairman stated this while addressing election observers in Abuja on Thursday, March 19.

“An election monitor is an integral part of the election management structure and has a role in the administration of the election. In Nigeria, only INEC and its duly authorized personnel are empowered to monitor elections. An observer on the other hand does not have any role in the administration of the election nor any control or oversight functions,” Jega said.

“An election monitor exercises some level of lawful authority over the conduct of elections as well as over officials involved; an observer has no such powers. In Nigeria, a monitor must be duly authorised personnel of the INEC; an observer is independent and reports only to his or her organization,” he added.

 “The roles, powers and functions of monitors are created and regulated and the authority so exercised is clearly spelt out. It is important to clarify these because observers in the past sometimes overreach the limits of our conception of observation, which often results in tension and disagreements,” the INEC Chairman said.

Jega also urged the election observers to ensure that their reports on the polls are based on evidence and not hearsay.

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