SERAP demands prosecution of vote buyers | Nigeria News Today. Your online Nigerian Newspaper f

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An anti-corruption group, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, has demanded that the Independent National Electoral Commission investigate alleged buying of votes in last Saturday’s governorship poll in Ekiti State.


The group, in an open letter on Tuesday by its Director, Adetokunbo Mumuni, asked INEC to enlist the help of anti-graft agencies to investigate the alleged vote buying and fish out the culprits.

It said it wants anyone suspected to be involved or complicit in the alleged buying of votes to be prosecuted, “if there is relevant and sufficient admissible evidence of electoral bribery and abuse of the electoral and democratic process against them.”

The group said it gave the Chairman of INEC, Prof Yakubu Mahmood, 14 days to take the appropriate steps on its request, threatening that it would resort to a legal action should its request be spurned.

SERAP said, “It is the responsibility of INEC, as an independent body, to take meaningful steps and action to minimise electoral bribery by politicians, ensure political equality and prevent unfair electoral competition.

“Nobody politic worthy of being called a democracy entrusts the selection of leaders to a process of auction or barter.

“Vote buying amounts to undue influence and improper electoral influence. When politicians buy votes, they reinforce social subjugation and do long-term damage to poor voters, as vote buying impairs voters’ already limited political power and participation in governance.

“Offering and giving poor people money to buy their votes is the hallmark of political disrespect, as it implies that politicians perceive voters as lacking autonomy.

“Investigating the allegations and prosecuting all those suspected to be involved would indicate your agencies’ willingness to exert your authorities and act as a deterrent against breaches of the electoral process, Nigeria’s anti-corruption legislation and international standards.”

The group urged INEC not to limit its investigation to Ekiti State but to extend it to Anambra, Edo and Ondo states.

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