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Femi Falana: I am extremely disappointed in INEC over 2023 elections

by Church Times

Lagos lawyer and human rights activist, Mr. Femi Falana has expressed deep dissatisfaction with the conduct of the February 25 polls by the Independent Electoral Commission.

He made his views known during an interview monitored by Church Times on Channels Television on Monday, February 26.

The lawyer, who is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria said, “I have not been impressed by the very disappointing outing on the part of the Independent National Electoral Commission. Nigerians had been assured that we were going to have a credible election, a peaceful election whereby votes would count.

“Regrettably there was a free reign of thuggery. Thugs took over in many places there was a compromise between security forces, and there was a compromise on the part of some INEC chiefs. There was impunity on the part of some governors.”

He said however that it is hoped that government will draw sufficient lessons from the exercise.

Falana said further that it was possible to isolate where there were pockets of illegality, and pockets of violence, adding however that INEC should go back to the drawing table.

Read also: Abiola”s son called me, raises fears of another June 12- Pat Utomi: https://churchtimesnigeria.net/pat-utomi-abiolas-son-called-me-raises-fear-of-another-june-12/

“I expect INEC to go back to the drawing table and review the role of its ad-hoc staff, the role of its staff and ensure that all those who have been arrested by the police for disrupting the election, for announcing fake results or for forging results and for deliberately preventing people to vote must be charged to the relevant court so that those who are going to manage the next election will know that it will not be business as usual,” he said.

If the impunity is not challenged according to Falana, some other miscreants will perpetrate and frustrate future elections.

He urged Nigerians to take an audit that ensures that there are backups for the BVAS machines so that people will not read meanings to the actions of INEC even where there is a genuine mistake. “Once people lose trust there will be problems in the country,” he said.

He appealed to Nigerians to eschew violence and allow the next round of the election to take place while also commending Nigerians for their participation in the polls. “In spite of provocation whereby they were denied access to their own legitimate money to choose or elect leaders of their choice,” he said.

Falana said one significant event in the Saturday polls was the commitment of young men and women to take their political destiny into their hands. “Young people have shown that the future belongs to them and that henceforth, they are going to participate maximally in determining the affairs of this country.”

He said “the election has also shown that it can no longer be business as usual. We have had surprises in many parts of the country.”


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