Angwe: More names of electoral offenders coming
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• Osunbor: Commission Displays Naked Impunity
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has assured that the last has not been heard in the renewed effort to name and shame all those who supported and perpetrated electoral violence
To this end, the commission is set to commence investigation into the hate speeches and cases of electoral violence recorded during the 2015 general elections.
Executive Secretary of the commission, Professor Bem Angwe, who disclosed this to The Guardian, said the commission would kick-start the exercise in a few days’ time.
He noted that at the end of the investigation, the commission would transmit its findings to the government, while persons indicted would be recommended to appropriate institutions for prosecution.
Angwe who decried persistent electoral impunity in the country said the only sure means of addressing the menace would be for the government to deploy its political power in dealing with offenders.
“In the next few days, we are going to commence full investigative hearing on cases of hate speeches and electoral violence that took place during the 2015 general elections. At the end of the day when we get our findings and facts, we will also submit to this administration, the list of persons that our investigation will indict for prosecution.
“This is the only way we can bring impunity to an end in our electoral system in this country,” Angwe said.
He further denied allegations that the Commission was bias or selective in the report on cases of violence recorded during the 2007 and 2011 general elections.
He insisted that the commission did not indict any person, since the report drew its findings from records of judgments delivered by various electoral tribunals across the country.
According to him, the commission was however yet to make its own recommendations, but would be doing so after it might have carefully reviewed the report.
He also promised to compile names of indicted persons and make its final recommendations to the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) for prosecution and punishment of offenders as stipulated by laws establishing the commission.
His words: “I want to say that, although there were recommendations, it is our recommendations that will be binding on institutions. This is because our law states that recommendations from NHRC do have a binding effect of law on institutions of government.”
He added, “The Commission did not indict those persons. They were indicted by various tribunals. It was not for us to indict. So, the issue of whether the report was selective or bias does not arise. We were not selective; even though any one at all was selective, then, it was the tribunal that came up with those indictments.
“I also want to say that the report has just been brought to me, I am going to make recommendations. I have not even sent any letter to the AGF as far as the submission of this final report is concerned. I have to do that first.”
He asked those accusing the commission of bias in the report to be patient and wait for further action, saying only those found to have committed electoral malpractices by the tribunals would have their names forwarded for prosecution.