Group Calls On Federal Government To Establish Electoral Offences Tribunal
Transform Nigeria Citizens Initiative has called on the National Assembly to pass a legislation to establish a special Electoral Offences Tribunal to dispense justice in all cases of electoral malpractice, ahead of the 2015 general election.
In a press statement released today, the global group popularly known as Transform Nigeria Movement, TNM, noted that the 2015 polls should be more transparent and more credible than that of 2011 as Nigeria cannot afford to have elections or general governance slide back in terms of peacefulness, fairness, transparency, or credibility.
TNM said that starting from April 2014; they will start a mobilisation campaign to ensure that such Tribunal is established in all the 36 States of the Federation and Abuja before the 2015 election.
“We stand with Nigerians who say loudly that they will not accept crooked tactics, electoral tampering, over-heated rhetoric, vote selling or buying, or violence”, the group said, adding that “anyone who engages in such election chicanery should be held accountable”.
“We call on Nigeria's National Assembly to pass legislation enacting an Electoral Offences Tribunal legislation that President Jonathan himself proposed when he was vice president.”
Frowning at a situation where persons indicted of electoral malpractice in a cancelled election that was marred by rigging still goes ahead to contest again in the rescheduled a elections and win, the group called it an anomaly and should no longer be tolerated.
“Such persons should be handed over to the law enforcement agencies for prosecution and if found guilty, be barred from contesting in all future elections for at least 10 years”.
TNM said that if Nigeria's security agencies are allowed to do their jobs professionally like they did during the Anambra governorship poll, the elections would be safely held in states with gubernatorial elections this year and in 2015.
“Credible elections are the responsibility of every citizen,” The group said and urged voters to vote according to their conscience and not sell their votes, which would amount to selling their future and the future prosperity of their children.
“You must hold your politicians, your electoral commission, your judiciary, your media, your political parties, your security services, and one another accountable. You must vote according to your conscience. Anyone who witnesses fraud must peacefully report it to the INEC and the Nigerian judicial system for resolution.
“Nothing justifies violence. Most importantly, Nigerians should vote. The ballot is your means to select your leaders and determine your futures,” The statement said.