Observer group seeks election tribunal before 2023 polls
An International Election Observer Group, Pan African Women Project (PAWP), has called on the Federal Government to establish election tribunal to prosecute electoral offences and punish offenders of electoral process in the country.
The group stated this in a report signed by Head of Mission, PAWP, South Africa, Mrs. Eben Udensi and Publicity Secretary of the group, Mphoentle Keitseng, yesterday, during a press conference to give account of their observation during the just-concluded elections in Nigeria and Akwa Ibom State in particular.
They recommended prompt, immediate, total and holistic review of the nation’s electoral laws.Also, the group opined that signing the electoral bill into law would facilitate and regulate proper conduct of subsequent elections in the country.
The foreign election observers, therefore, called for the provision of sufficient funds for mass sensitisation and security education for security agencies on electoral duties.“We appeal to the Federal Government of Nigeria to effect prompt release of the requisite fund to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) at least 12 months before the general elections,” the group stated.
The group, which lauded INEC for improvement on arrival of materials and kick-off of the gubernatorial/state Houses of Assembly elections, said: “We commend the transparent and credibility exhibited by INEC in Akwa Ibom State in conducting a free and fair presidential/National Assembly and gubernatorial/state House of Assembly elections.”
It recommended that INEC must recruit ad-hoc members of staff who are above 30 years of age for the sensitive positions such as polling officers, noting that many of the polling officers were young and lacked the maturity to take decisions on time, especially where violence erupted.
The observer group, which asked the electoral body to organise more workshops for security agencies to define their role of engagement at elections, alleged that security agencies constituted a major cause of violence, intimidation and unrest at the just-concluded elections in the country.
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