SERAP To Buhari: Arrest Sponsors Of Attacks On INEC Offices Or Face Legal Action
The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to arrest the sponsors of attacks on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) offices.
Recently, INEC offices have been attacked by gunmen and arsonists who destroy sensitive materials, documents as well as buildings in parts of the country.
The situation has created fear, with many Nigerians wondering if the security threats can be addressed ahead of the 2023 general elections.
According to reports, there were at least 41 attacks in 14 states between February 2019 and May 2021. Recent reports also show over 50 attacks on INEC offices in several states in the last few months.
In a statement on Sunday, SERAP Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare, wants President Buhari to “urgently direct the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami, SAN and appropriate law enforcement agencies to identify and arrest the perpetrators and sponsors of attacks on the offices of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) across the country.”
Specifically, the rights group urged the President to “ensure that the perpetrators and their sponsors are named and shamed, and promptly brought to justice, regardless of their political affiliations.”
“These attacks are increasingly putting INEC under siege. If not urgently addressed, the escalating attacks on the offices of INEC would impair the people’s right to vote,” the statement read.
“The attacks would also undermine public trust and confidence in the electoral process. It is confidence in the process that is the true backbone of Nigeria’s constitutional democracy and the rule of law.”
“The right to vote will have little meaning if perpetrators and sponsors of attacks on INEC offices continue to get away with their crime against the Nigerian people.”
The group argued that an electoral commission that can operate in a safe and secured environment is essential to Nigeria’s constitutional democracy.
SERAP warned the current administration that it shall consider appropriate legal actions to compel Buhari’s government to comply in the public interest.