Election violence: SERAP urges probe of govs
DSS warns politicians against violence over election disputes
Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has urged 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 against state governors and their deputies during the last general elections.
SERAP also urged Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, to promptly and effectively investigate reports of electoral violence and other electoral offences committed during the general elections, identify perpetrators and their sponsors and ensure their effective prosecution, regardless of their political status or affiliation.
In the letter signed by the Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare, dated March 25, 2023, SERAP asserted: “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. “
“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 governor and/or their deputy.”
The organisation called on INEC to promptly collaborate with law enforcement agencies to identify any politician and their sponsors suspected to be responsible for electoral violence and other electoral offences during the elections.
Electoral violence, the body noted, is a threat to fair and representative elections. “It is inconsistent and incompatible with the principles of democracy, the rule of law, transparency and accountability for politicians to allegedly use violence to disrupt the electoral process.”
OFFICIALS of the Department of State Services (DSS) have, again, alerted Nigerians of plans to violently disrupt peace in the country, while warning those who are desperate to cause breakdown of law and order to desist from such act.
DSS had earlier advised political players to abide by the rules of engagement as well as approach the courts for redress any form of political problem.
DSS spokesman, Peter Afunanya, warned political actors at the weekend to approach the courts if and where there are suspicion of infractions on extant electoral laws.
“It is evident that some aggrieved politicians are already taking advantage of this legal process. This, without doubt, is the beauty of democracy. It is strongly believed that this approach enhances peace and security. All and sundry should cherish it.
“Be that as it may, the DSS will not tolerate a situation where persons and/or groups take laws into their hands and champion anarchy. Those peddling fake news, hate speech and all forms of false narratives as basis to ignite violence or pit the people against the present or incoming administrations, at the federal and state levels, should stop forthwith.”