YIAGA Africa urges police, INEC to prosecute sponsors of violence during Ekiti by-election

A civil society organisation YIAGA Africa has called on the Nigerian police and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to prosecute sponsors and perpetrators of violence that led to the death of three persons during Ekiti State by-election on Saturday.

This is contained in a statement signed by director of programmes Cynthia Mbamalu, and made available to The ICIR on Sunday.

Mbamalu said the electoral commission and the police should immediately investigate and prosecute anyone who participated in the violence.

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“The prosecution must include both the sponsors of the violence and the individuals deployed to cause the violence,” the statement read in part.

According to YIaga Africa, the events that occurred during the election were an assault on Nigerian democracy and sanctity of life.

YIAGA Africa noted that the desperation of political actors to capture power, by all means, remained a threat to electoral democracy.

The organisation stated that it was embarrassing to watch the political class violate the electoral laws with impunity and utmost disregard for the sanctity of life and good conscience.

“No democracy can thrive if politicians circumvent the rule of law, deploy violence and other rigging tactics to win elections at all costs,” YIAGA Africa stated.



    However, the organisation commended INEC’s decision to indefinitely suspend the process of the election, adding that no credible election could be conducted under a chaotic atmosphere.

    INEC suspends Ekiti by-election indefinitely over violence, killings

    Consequently, YIAGA Africa charged the National Assembly to fasten the electoral amendment process to enable timely and diligent prosecution of electoral offenders, while tackling systemic challenges plaguing the electoral process.

    The Ekiti State House of Assembly by-election was suspended on Saturday due to violence perpetrated during the electoral process that led to the death of three persons, with a policewoman and a member of the National Youth Service Corps sustaining gunshot injuries.

    The by-election was conducted to fill the vacant seat of the Ekiti East constituency (I) seat following the death of former representative Juwa Adegbuyi, who passed away earlier in February.

    Lukman Abolade is an Investigative reporter with The ICIR. Reach out to him via [email protected], on twitter @AboladeLAA and FB @Correction94

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