The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has announced its decision to no longer keep sensitive electoral materials in the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
The chairman of the commission, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, spoke on Saturdday in Abuja at a symposium tagged, The Electorate: A Conversation on Elections in Nigeria.
According to him, the CBN would no longer keep election materials, starting with the Ekiti State governorship poll slated for June 18.
The sensitive materials conserved in the CBN during elections include ballot papers, result sheets, and braille ballot guide for visually-impaired persons, among others.
This comes as controversy surrounds the political interest of the CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele, to contest the 2023 presidential election under the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
“We are not going to use the CBN for the Ekiti election. The materials will be moved from our headquarters in Abuja to the airport, then to our state office,” Yakubu added.
Speaking on the commission’s decision, Yakubu, who avoided a direct response, said the electoral body was testing better ways to secure the materials.
“We are experimenting better ways to secure the processes, so it is not necessarily related to what is happening in the CBN. Our intention is to always improve and take complete ownership of the process.” he said.
Furthermore, the INEC boss said the commission had reacted to the demands of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) by equipping the anti-graft agency with the bank accounts and other financial details of political parties.
The EFCC had initiated a discreet scrutiny into the finances of the 18 registered political parties in the country and their presidential aspirants after the giant fees paid for expression of interest and nomination forms by aspirants competing for several elective seats.
Yakubu ascertained that the 430million ballot papers to be used in the 2023 elections would be printed in Nigeria. He said the preference of the commission had always been to print the sensitive materials within the nation.