The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has issued a 7-day ultimatum to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to investigate state governors over violence and corruption in the just concluded 2023 general elections.
In the letter dated 25 March 2023 and signed by SERAP deputy director Kolawole Oluwadare, INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, was urged to urgently scrutinize state governors and their deputies over their actions during just concluded elections.
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SERAP also urged Yakubu to identify suspected perpetrators of the criminal acts and their sponsors and ensure their effective prosecution, regardless of their political status or affiliations.
The letter reads;
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 governors and/or their deputies.
SERAP also urged INEC to 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 added;
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.