Election Violence: Investigate Governors, deputies or face legal action, SERAP tells INEC

0
325

Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has urged Professor Mahmood Yakubu, Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to “urgently seek the appointment of an independent counsel to investigate allegations of electoral violence and other electoral offences including bribery against any state governors and their deputies during the just concluded general elections.”

SERAP also urged him to “promptly and effectively investigate reports of electoral violence and other electoral offences committed during the general elections, and to identify suspected perpetrators and their sponsors, and ensure their effective prosecution, regardless of their political status or affiliations.” In the letter dated 25 March 2023 and signed by SERAP deputy director Kolawole Oluwadare, the organisation said: “By allegedly engaging in electoral violence and other electoral offences in so blatant a fashion, suspected perpetrators and their sponsors have clearly acted in violation of constitutional provisions, international standards and the Electoral Act.”

SERAP said, “Section 52 of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, allows INEC to seek the appointment of an independent counsel to investigate allegations of electoral violence and other electoral offences such as bribery that may have been committed by any state governors and/or their deputies.” According to SERAP, “INEC should promptly collaborate with the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) and other law enforcement agencies to identify any politicians and their sponsors suspected to be responsible for electoral violence and other electoral offences during the elections.”

The letter, read in part: “Identifying, arresting, investigating and prosecuting those suspected of perpetrating electoral violence and other electoral offences during the 2023 general elections would act as a deterrent against electoral violence in future elections.” “We would be grateful if immediate steps are taken to implement the recommended measures within 7 days of the receipt and/or publication of this letter. If we have not heard from you by then, SERAP shall consider appropriate legal actions to compel INEC to comply with our request in the public interest.”

“Acting swiftly to address the brazen impunity and reports of electoral violence and other electoral offences during the 2023 general elections would also send a strong message to politicians that the INEC under your leadership would not tolerate any infringement of the electoral process.”

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here