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SERAP sues INEC for ‘failure to put Ekiti vote buyers on trial’


INEC Chairman, Prof Mahmoud Yakubu

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has been dragged before a Federal High Court, Lagos over alleged “failure to put Ekiti vote buyers on trial.”

The commission is also being accused of “not doing something about the allegations of vote buying by both the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) during recent governorship election in Ekiti State.”

Filed at the weekend by a Lagos-based group, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), the suit is seeking “an order for leave to apply for judicial review and to seek an order of mandamus compelling INEC and its Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, to instruct security agencies to forward to them reports of their investigations into allegations of vote buying during the governorship election in Ekiti State and to collaborate with the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to commence prosecution of indicted persons.”

The suit followed the electoral commission’s response to SERAP last week that while it had powers to prosecute alleged vote buyers, it lacked the powers to arrest and investigate suspects.

In the letter signed by its Acting Secretary, Okechukwu Ndeche, INEC said while the commission’s legal officers or any legal practitioner appointed by it “can prosecute alleged vote buying, other agencies must first arrest and investigate suspects before it can act on the matter.”

SERAP is also seeking an order compelling INEC and its chairman to “prosecute anyone suspected to be involved and/or complicit in the alleged vote buying during the elections in Ekiti, Anambra, Edo and Ondo states.”

The suit filed on behalf of SERAP by its counsel, Timothy Adewale read in part: “To date, INEC and its chairman have failed, neglected and/or refused to comply with the request by SERAP to prosecute alleged vote buyers.

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