The Independent National Electoral Commission has released the Regulations and Guidelines for the Conduct of Elections in 2023.
The guidelines that supersede all other regulations were released by Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, the INEC Chairman.
Yakubu released it on Friday in Abuja during a special meeting of the Inter-agency Consultative Committee on Election Security in Abuja to review security arrangements for the Ekiti State governorship election.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the regulations and guidelines were issued pursuant to Section 149 of the Electoral Act, 2022 and they supersede all other regulations and/or guidelines on the conduct of elections issued by the Commission.
They shall remain in force until replaced by new regulations and guidelines or updated by way of revisions or supplementary regulations and guidelines supported by decision extracts of INEC or an official gazette.
The new regulations and guidelines cover elections and arrangements for their conduct, accreditation and voting procedure at elections, and collation of election results and making returns.
They apply to the conduct of elections to offices of: “President and Vice President; Governor and Deputy Governor; National Assembly (Senate and House of Representatives); State Houses of Assembly; Chairmen and Vice-Chairmen of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Area Councils; and Councillors of FCT Area Councils Legislature.”
Earlier at the meeting, Yakubu said that with the coming into force of the Electoral Act 2022, it had become necessary to review the Commission’s Regulations and Guidelines to govern the conduct of elections.
He said that the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), the Electoral Act 2022 and the Regulations and Guidelines constituted the electoral legal framework.
He said: “On several occasions, the Commission has assured Nigerians that we are finalising the Regulations and Guidelines for the elections.
“I am glad to announce that the document is ready and will be presented to Nigerians shortly.
“The soft copy will be uploaded to our website with the link shared on our social media platforms.
“With the release of the Regulations and Guidelines today, and the publication of the Strategic Plan (SP) 2022-2026 and Election Project Plan 2023 earlier, the Commission has virtually concluded the planning processes for the 2023 General Elections nine months ahead of the election.
“In the next couple of weeks, the training manual will also be presented to Nigerians.
“Going forward, the Commission will focus on election administration.
“These include logistics, training, voter education, technology, sensitisation against vote buying, inclusivity measures and, above all, security.”
Yakubu said that the ICCES would continue to play a critical role and the Commission appreciated the support of all security agencies.
NAN reports that the Guidelines is categorised into four parts, which cover: Election and arrangements for their conduct; Accreditation and voting procedures at elections; Collation of election results and making of returns; and Conducting elections during the COVID-19 pandemic and other health emergencies