Friday, May 17, 2013

Fashola raises the question of Electoral Fraud

Lagos, Nigeria- Governor Fashola (SAN), Thursday called for concrete action against those who perpetrated electoral fraud during national General Elections. Fashola raises the question of electoral fraud and declared that “We must begin to take those very simple steps to show that we will no longer tolerate this kind of impunity in our society. And it is not about protests; it is about taking those simple and firm actions”.

Fashola raises electoral fraud in Nigeria

Governor Fashola, who spoke at the Public Presentation of a book titled “The Enforcement of Electoral Laws and Case Law of 2007 Election Petition Judgments”, written by eminent Law teacher, Professor Itse Sagay, at the Protea Hotel, Ikeja, said unless concrete steps were taken to show that such electoral fraud would no longer be tolerated, what happened in 2007 would repeat itself in 2015.

“And many of the people who were found by our courts to have been involved in these irregularities are still holding honorary degrees, are still holding chieftaincy titles. These are the building blocks by which society corrects impunity. We must begin to act to take back those titles because they have desecrated them; they are no longer worthy of them, even if we don’t take them to court”, Governor Fashola said.

According to the Governor, “The responsibility for action against electoral fraudsters is not for the attorneys- general alone, it is for all of us, it is everybody’s responsibility; our professors in the Ivory Towers and our spiritual leaders must be more circumspect”.

“Right now, it will not be a case of witch hunting if we have a Supreme Court judgment and judgment of our Appellant Court showing that there were irregularities, irregularities that amounted in some cases to fraud, and people were named as having been involved in perpetrating those irregularities. I think we would, in a sense, have served a dish to our attorneys-general in the various states”, the Governor said.

Governor Fashola, who described the 2007 General Elections as “an unwelcome barometre of impunity in our society and in our electoral history” declared, “Now, in three years time we are going to approach this same process; is anything going to change? It hasn’t changed since our first elections and I have not heard since the first elections that anybody has been charged to court let alone convicted for any electoral fraud in more than 50 years of our electoral history”.

“Even in cases and instances where the election of a supposedly victorious elected governor has been nullified, we carry on as if nothing is wrong. We refer to them as former governors”, the Governor said pointing out that if no actions were taken to correct such anomalies, the nation’s democracy would be in danger.

“As important as the political system and its optimal process is, we do not pay much attention to it, we don’t ask questions. Elections hold once in four years. After that we carry on as if nothing went wrong but we know inside us that something went wrong. In football fans are as responsible as the umpires for the smooth running of a match. They can be punished if anything goes wrong from their side during a match. If an organization that is responsible for entertainment can take such serious actions, why should we not be serious with our electoral process?”, the Governor asked

Describing the eminent Jurists and Academics who attended the occasion as “Giants of the Law”, Governor Fashola declared, “These are the Giants on whose shoulders we stand; Giants of the Law as they are. It is by standing on their shoulders that we attempt to see very far”.


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