The National Human Rights Commission has asked the House of Representatives to approve the Electoral Offenses Commission bill.
A statement released by the NHRC Deputy Director of Public Affairs, Fatimah Mohammed, stated that the Executive Secretary of the Commission, Chief Tony Ojukwu, made the call on Thursday in Abuja.
The statement read in part: “The National Human Rights Commission has urged the House of Representatives to pass the Electoral Offenses Commission bill like its counterpart in the Senate to enable the country to deal with cases of electoral violence, which has been a feature of past elections. .
“The executive secretary of the commission, Tony Ojukwu OFR, SAN, who made this call on Thursday in Abuja stated that if the bill is passed by the House of Representatives and later signed into law by the president, it will empower the Independent National Electoral Commission to concentrate on conducting credible polls to prosecute election violators. The proposed National Electoral Offenses Commission will be responsible.
“The Chief Human Rights Officer of Nigeria recalled that the Senate passed the Electoral Offenses Bill since July 14, 2021 and sent it to the House of Representatives and therefore wondered why the bill has remained pending despite the inherent value it will add to the electoral process. 2023 elections from the general ones.
“Learned Zeta observed that although Section 145 of the Electoral Act 2022 empowers INEC to prosecute electoral offenses in the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory, it has no capacity to investigate, arrest and prosecute electoral offences.
“The Senior Advocate of Nigeria stated that the said inability of INEC has been a serious hindrance in prosecuting electoral crimes and other misconduct before, during and after elections in the country.
“Consequently, the NHRC leader joined his voice in calling for the implementation of the recommendations of Justice Mohammed Uwais on Electoral Reforms, particularly the establishment of a National Electoral Offenses Commission to deal with all forms of electoral crimes, to restore people’s confidence in the electoral process.
“The legal clarifier recalled that the commission carried out an electoral accountability project where it made thorough recommendations to the federal government after carefully examining past orders and judgments arising from electoral petitions, thus ensuring the protection of citizens’ electoral rights.
“For example, the Commission recommended to the Attorney-General of the Federation and the Minister of Justice that certain persons who were accused of misconduct by the Electoral Petition Tribunal or the Court of Appeal during the 2007-2011 general elections should be prosecuted and subsequently prosecuted.
“Finally, he expressed optimism that the current MOVE project, Mobilizing Voters Mobilization for Elections, aims to achieve, among other things, the following: 1) improve citizen participation in elections 2) Ensure that political parties and candidates present a clear direction on human rights. in their manifestos and 3) ensure that law enforcement officers follow best practices in the performance of their duties, including protecting voters and their votes in elections.