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2023 Elections: Falana Raises Alarm Over Compromise By Personnel, Govs’ Impunity

The SAN stated that prosecution of electoral offenders would ensure the officers charged with managing the next elections would know that "it’s not going to be business as usual".


Counsel to ASUU, Mr Femi Falana, appeared on Channels Television on November 8, 2022.
(FILES) A video grab of Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr Femi Falana, during an appearance on Channels Television on November 8, 2022.

 

Human rights lawyer Femi Falana has called into question the credibility of last Saturday’s presidential and National Assembly elections, accusing security personnel, electoral staff, and state governors of undermining the process.

“I’ve not been impressed by the very disappointing outing on the part of the Independent National Electoral Commission,” Falana said during an exclusive interview with Channels Television

“Nigerians’ had been assured they were going to have a credible election – a peaceful election – whereby votes would count. Regrettably, there was a free rein of thuggery; thugs took over in many places. 

“There was a compromise on the part of the security forces. There was a compromise on the part of some INEC chiefs. There was impunity on the part of some governors.”

The Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) expressed hope that the authorities would draw sufficient lessons from the exercise.

“As our courts would  say, they are the substantial compliance with the Electoral Act because you could isolate where you had pockets of illegality, pockets of violence,” he said.

In his view, INEC should go back to the drawing board, review the management of the elections, and the role of ad hoc staff.

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He added that the Commission should ensure those apprehended for electoral offences be charged before the relevant courts as soon as possible.

The violators, according to him, include those “arrested by the police or other security agencies for disrupting the election, for announcing fake results or for forging results and for deliberately preventing people from voting”.

Falana further stated that prosecution of electoral offenders would ensure the officers charged with managing the next elections would know that “it’s not going to be business as usual”.