The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) - To ensure orderliness and safety of all participants in the electoral process, every person in the polling environment on election day will be properly accredited by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). These persons include: Party Agents, Observers, Media Organisations and Journalists.
In the light of this, the following are the guidelines for accreditation of Journalists and Media organisations wishing to cover the 2023 General Election.
Guidelines for Online Accreditation of the Media and Journalists for 2023 General Election
Application for Accreditation
Media organisations intending to deploy Journalists to cover the 2023 General Election shall apply online to the Commission via: https://imap.inecnigeria.org. Each organisation shall attach and upload onto the accreditation portal the list of all staff it wishes to deploy in their various states.
The Portal will open on Thursday, 5th January, 2023 and close on Sunday, 5th February, 2023.
1.) Liaison Personnel
To ensure a seamless accreditation exercise, each media organisation is required to assign a nominee as well as liaise with the Department of Voter Education and Publicity in the states for processing of applications.
2.) Responsibilities of Accredited Journalists
Accredited Journalists and allied staff have the right to cover all election procedures within the respective jurisdictions for which they have been accredited. They are expected to strictly abide by relevant laws, INEC Regulations and Guidelines, Rules and Codes from relevant Regulatory Bodies as well as the ethics of Journalism.
Journalists are to:
Display their photo identification Tags issued by the Commission at all times.
Be at the Polling Unit from the opening of poll on Election Day to observe all stages of the polling process - from voter accreditation, through the voting period, to the counting of ballot papers and pasting of results - provided they do not interfere with polling processes or compromise the voters statutory right to secrecy of his/her vote.
Move around the Polling Units as long as their movements do not obstruct the voting process or the work of poll officials, interview voters, observers or other persons within the polling environment without interfering with the polling process
Observe the deployment of sensitive materials and the retrieval of used and unused sensitive materials after the polling processes.
Journalists are not allowed to:
Film or take photographs of any individual within the polling zone without his/her consent.
Film or photograph any voter marking a ballot paper.
Photograph, acquire pictures, film footage or audio commentary that reveals personal details of the voter.
Film, photograph or copy the Register of Voters, Voter Cards or any other document(s) as would infringe on the privacy of any voter;
Handle any polling material.
3.) Line of Authority/Obedience to Lawful Directions
Accredited Journalists, like everyone else in the polling environment shall be subject to the directives and control of the Presiding Officer. INEC reserves the right to withdraw or revoke at anytime the accreditation of any Journalist who defies the directives of any Presiding Officer or authorized INEC Official or who violates the provisions of any law, regulation, code or professional codes of Journalism practice.
Access to Collation Centres:
INEC will allow only one accredited representative per radio station and two per television station (reporter and cameraman) as well as two per newspaper (reporter and photographer) to each collation centre.
Documents Required for Accreditation
The contact person of the organisation is required to upload current passport photographs (required size) and work I.D of every staff that will be involved in the coverage of the elections.
The contact person is also required to upload a covering letter from his/her organisation containing the names and duties of officers his/her organisation wishes to deploy (e.g. Reporter, Camera Operator, Translator, Driver, etc).
Online Media organisations will be required to provide their website addresses with evidence of recent posts (i.e regular posts in the last 30 days preceding the date of the application).
Print Journalists may be required to scan and upload at least three recent editions of their publications.
Deadline For Submission Of Applications
Submission of all applications and documents for accreditation for the 2023 General Election will end at 5:00pm on Sunday, 5th February, 2023.
NB: No late submission shall be entertained as the portal will automatically shut down at the expiration of the submission period and there will be no room for manual accreditation.
Submission of Documents
All documents shall be submitted in soft copies through the dedicated online portal as provided below. No hard copy submission will be accepted.
Journalists/Media organisations whose applications are successful will collect accreditation kits from Monday, 13th to Friday, 17th February at designated centres in the states while collection in the FCT will be at the INEC Headquarters (Annex), No. 10 Blantyre Street, Wuse 2, Abuja. Collection of kits will be from 10.00am to 4.00 pm daily.
INEC reserves the right to withhold accreditation for any organisation or Journalist whose professional identity could not be verified.
There shall no manual accreditation.
Only accredited media representatives will be allowed free movement or access to Polling Units, Collation Centres, or any INEC office facility.
Accreditation tags will stand as pass for both the Presidential/ Senatorial/House of Representatives election of Saturday, 25th February, 2023 and Governorship/State Houses of Assembly election of Saturday, 11th March, 2023.
Media organisations are expected to liaise with the HoD, VEP in their respective states for processing of the applications.
Applications once filled and submitted cannot be reversed.
For further enquiries, please contact the Director, Voter Education and Publicity, Ayodele Aluko (07034610761) or the Deputy Director, Chinwe Ogbuka (08033141836).