Serap Calls On Buhari To Look Into The Alleged Assault On Obi System.
President Muhammadu Buhari has been urged by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) to order Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Usman Baba, to promptly, thoroughly, and transparently investigate the alleged attack on Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate, Peter Obi, after a rally in Katsina State, as well as other cases of election-related intimidation, harassment, and violence across the federation.
Additionally, it requests that he direct Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice Abubakar Malami (SAN) to identify the offenders and swiftly prosecute them.
In response to 339 other violent events of a similar kind in 2022, Obi was allegedly attacked while traveling to the airport.
The organisation said in a letter sent over the weekend and signed by Kolawole Oluwadare, its deputy director, that rising instances of electoral intimidation, harassment, and violence are fundamentally incompatible with free and fair elections.
According to SERAP, pursuing the cases and holding the offenders accountable will stop the tendency, promote fair elections, and encourage Nigerians to participate fully in the political processes.
Additionally, the group said that cleaning up the political system would strengthen the nation’s tradition of democracy and the rule of law.
The letter states, in part, that the right to take part in one government and free and fair elections is essential under the Nigerian Constitution of 1999 (as amended), the Electoral Act, and the nation’s international human rights commitments.
The rights of Nigerians to participate in the democratic process, to have free and fair elections, as well as a number of other human rights, are gravely violated by intimidation, harassment, and violence associated to elections.
“Elections that are free and fair must be held in circumstances that allow voters to cast their ballots as they like simply out of their own free will, free from intimidation, harassment, or violence before, during, or after the election.
“Free and fair elections are necessary for any democracy to succeed. But in a setting where incidents of election-related intimidation, harassment, and violence are common, free and fair elections cannot be held.
Fairness is the provision of equal opportunity and a favorable atmosphere for all disputing parties to present their reasons to the public, who may then freely decide.
“The people will not feel free to exercise their right to vote in a political environment if opposition party campaigns are suppressed and there is additional election-related intimidation, harassment, and violence.