- Femi Falana has faulted the Jonathan and Buhari governments for discarding reports to make INEC free from political interference
- He pointed out that former president Musa Yar’Adua was very honest in 2007 when he declared that the election that brought him to power was flawed
- The legal luminary said the country is in trouble with the credibility of its elections because the reports from the panels’ findings were cast aside
Femi Falana (SAN), renowned human rights activist, has chided the federal government under President Muhammadu Buhari and his predecessor, Goodluck Jonathan, for abandoning reports to make the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) free from political interference and truly autonomous.
Falana, while speaking at the annual general meeting and conference of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations, expressed doubt over the country’s ability to hold credible elections in 2019, as he stated that there is little or no public trust in INEC, Punch reports.
Legit.ng gathers that the legal luminary urged Nigerians “not to allow people who are not enlightened to decide our fate.”
He said if elected officials who betrayed the public trust were not voted out of office, the 2019 elections would be a mere ritual.
He said: “On the credibility of our elections, former president Musa Yar’Adua was very honest in 2007 when he declared that the election that brought him to power was flawed.
“He therefore set up a judicial commission of inquiry headed by Justice Muhammed Uwais, who later became the chief justice of Nigeria. Former president Goodluck Jonathan also set up another inquiry headed by Alhaji Ahmed Lemu.
“Both panels recommended at different times, that to have credible elections in our country, the chair and members of INEC shall be appointed by advertisement, with conditions set up. People will apply and whoever qualifies shall be appointed.
“It is not that the president will appoint them. The panels also said there shall be an electoral offences tribunal to try those who manipulate or who commit electoral offences.
“Unfortunately, both the Peoples Democratic Party and the All Progressives Congress have conveniently thrown those reports aside. And so, that is why we are in trouble with the credibility of our elections.”
Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mahmood Yakubu, allegedly hinted that the body might be forced to suspend the 2019 general elections following threats to violence by some politicians in the country.
Yakubu, a professor, stated this in reaction to some disturbing videos of political campaigns in the social media in which some politicians were seen threatening to shed blood.
The INEC boss noted that recent developments and signs in the country’s political landscape called for greater vigilance.
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