INEC is the electoral body which was set up to oversee elections in Nigeria.
Set up in 1998, origin of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) dates back to the period before Independence when the Electoral Commission of Nigeria was established to conduct 1959 elections. The Federal Electoral Commission (FEDECO), established in 1960 conducted the immediate post-independence federal and regional elections of 1964 and 1965. The electoral body was dissolved after the military coup of 1966. In 1978, the Federal Electoral Commission was constituted by the regime of General Olusegun Obasanjo, organizing the elections of 1979 which ushered in the Nigerian Second Republic under the leadership of Alhaji Shehu Shagari. It also conducted the general elections of 1983.
In December 1995, the military government of General Sani Abacha established the National Electoral Commission of Nigeria which conducted another set of elections. These elected institutions were not inaugurated before the sudden death of General Abacha on June 1998 aborted the process. In 1998 General Abdulsalam Abubakar’s Administration dissolved NECON and established the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). INEC organized the transitional elections that ushered in the Nigerian Fourth Republic on May 29, 1999.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was established by the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to among other things organize elections into various political offices in the country.
See Also: List Of INEC Nigeria Offices By State
The functions of INEC as contained in Section 15, Part 1 of the Third Schedule of the 1999 Constitution (As Amended) and Section 2 of the Electoral Act 2010 (As Amended) include the following:
- Organise, undertake and supervise all elections to the offices of the President and Vice-President, the Governor and Deputy Governor of a State, and to the membership of the Senate, the House of Representatives and the House of Assembly of each state of the federation;
- Register political parties in accordance with the provisions of the constitution and Act of the National Assembly;
- Monitor the organization and operation of the political parties, including their finances; conventions, congresses and party primaries.
- Arrange for the annual examination and auditing of the funds and accounts of political parties, and publish a report on such examination and audit for public information;
- Arrange and conduct the registration of persons qualified to vote and prepare, maintain and revise the register of voters for the purpose of any election under this constitution;
- Monitor political campaigns and provide rules and regulations which shall govern the political parties;
- Conduct voter and civic education;
- Promote knowledge of sound democratic election processes; and
- Conduct any referendum required to be conducted pursuant to the provision of the 1999 Constitution or any other law or Act of the National Assembly.
The mission of INEC is to serve as an independent and effective EMB committed to the conduct of free, fair and credible elections for sustainable democracy in Nigeria.
The vision of INEC is to be one of the best Election Management Bodies (EMB) in the world that meets the aspirations of the Nigerian people.
INEC shall be guided by the following values in the performance of its duties:
- Autonomy: INEC shall carry out all its functions independently, free from external control and influence.
- Transparency: INEC shall display openness and transparency in all its activities and in its relationship with all stakeholders.
- Integrity: INEC shall maintain truthfulness and honesty in all its dealings at all times
- Credibility: INEC shall ensure that no action or activity is taken in support of any candidate or political party.
- Impartiality: INEC shall ensure the creation of a level playing field for all political actors.
- Dedication: INEC shall be committed to providing quality electoral services efficiently and effectively, guided by best international practice and standards
- Equity: INEC shall ensure fairness and justice in dealing with all stakeholders.
- Excellence: INEC shall be committed to the promotion of merit and professionalism as the basis for all its actions.
- Team work: INEC shall create a conducive environment that promotes teamwork among its staff at all levels.