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SERAP to sue FG, National Assembly for election postponement

THE Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project has indicated that it would sue the Federal Government and the National Assembly for the postponement of the 2019 general elections.

Kolawole Oluwadare, the Deputy Director of SERAP in a statement on Sunday, blamed the successive governments in Nigeria since 1999 for the increased predisposition to postpone elections which have only ended in corruption over the years.

He accused politicians of their negligence towards amending some of the vulnerabilities in the electoral processes, stating that it is unlikely that the Federal Government or the National Assembly would take the steps necessary to sort out the electoral system and improve transparency, accountability, and integrity of the electoral process.

Oluwadare also charged the citizens to be active participants in the fight against corruption by putting pressure on the authorities to hasten the reformation of the electoral system in Nigeria.

“We urge Nigerians to take a more active role in the fight against corruption, including by putting pressure on the authorities at the federal and state levels and the National Assembly to comprehensively reform, upgrade and modernise our electoral system and processes. Otherwise, citizens’ right to participate in the governance system will remain a ‘hollow right.

“Given that the right to vote is considered a part of an individual’s fundamental right to political participation, persistent postponement of elections in the country raises serious questions about the legitimacy and integrity of Nigeria’s fledgling democracy.

“Persistent failure to upgrade and modernise the electoral system has effectively relegated the right of participation to paper tiger status, undermining the ability of citizens to genuinely participate in the fight against corruption and to hold their leaders to account. Yet, a transparent, accountable and modernised electoral process is a prerequisite to the effective exercise of citizenship in a democratic society.”




     

     

    Oluwadare also said that the budget and expenditures of INEC will be thoroughly investigated by SERAP in keeping with its role of ensuring transparency and accountability of the government.

    “SERAP would also deploy the Freedom of Information Act to seek information on details of spending by INEC since 1999, as part of our initiatives to improve transparency and accountability of governmental operations and promote respect for citizens’ right to participate in the processes of government and governance in the country,” he said.

    The election which supposed to take place on Saturday was postponed by the electoral commission at the 11th hour to 23 February based on certain logistic problems.

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