SERAP sues INEC over refusal to investigate vote-buying in Ekiti elections

SERAP sues INEC over refusal to investigate vote-buying in Ekiti elections

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is being sued by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) for “failure to prosecute people accused of vote-buying and electoral bribery during the recently concluded Ekiti State governorship election.”

Reports claim that during the recently held governorship race in Ekiti; there was a flagrant pattern of vote buying and electoral bribery in some polling places.

Also, according to reports, a political party offered voters in Ekiti up to N10,000 as inducement.

Biodun Oyebanji, the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, received 187,057 votes to win.

However, in suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/1189/2022 filed at the Federal High Court, Abuja, last Friday; SERAP is seeking “an order of mandamus to direct and compel INEC to seek and obtain detailed information about reports of vote-buying by the three leading political parties in the 2022 Ekiti State governorship election.”

Specifically, the suit was filed on behalf of SERAP by its lawyers, Opeyemi Owolabi and Kolawole Oluwadare.

Consequently, SERAP is seeking “an order of mandamus to direct and compel INEC to promptly and effectively prosecute those arrested, and to bring to justice anyone who sponsored, aided and abetted them.”

According to the organization, “wealthy candidates and their sponsors ought not to be allowed to profit from their crimes. Arresting and prosecuting vote buyers will end widespread impunity for vote buying ahead of the February 2023 general elections.”

Meanwhile, following the verbal sparring between the presidential candidates of the two major political parties; Atiku Abubakar of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has challenged Asiwaju Bola Tinubu of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC); to participate in an hour-long television interview.

This was after Tinubu’s campaign organisation cast doubt on Atiku’s interview with Arise Television; which aired on Friday where the former Vice President made a number of claims.

This included the alleged refusal to choose Tinubu as his running mate in 2007; which would have made his Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) presidential ticket a single faith ticket.

Atiku challenged Tinubu to accept an interview challenge. He made this known in a statement released, on Saturday, July 23, 2022 by his media adviser, Paul Ibe.

Also Read: Wike pledges to reveal what really happened during PDP primaries

The statement titled, “We challenge Bola Tinubu to take the Hot Seat,” reads; “We would like to challenge Bola Tinubu to subject himself to an hour-long interview as the Waziri did…If he is able to be as articulate and mentally present as our candidate, then he can talk.

“Until then, we will only want to remind him and his yes men that they are not in a position to point fingers when they have not sat on the hot seat.”


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