The Nigerian Bar Association, (NBA) on Wednesday, has re-echoed the colossal aberrations which characterized the 2023 elections, describing it as a “show of shame”.
This was as the Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC), announced that the electoral body has so far received about 774 cases involving electoral malpractices and related offenses from the Nigerian Police which are to be investigated and tried.
NBA President, Mr. Yakubu Chonoko Maikyau, who painted some vivid pictures of how the electoral processes were violated, specifically said that the 2023 elections witnessed what he described as “Voting day executive rascality”.
Represented by the NBA second Vice President, Clement Chukwuemeka, at the National Human Rights Commission, (NHRC), fifth round of MOVE Project and Review Forum on Human Rights and the 2023 elections situation room report, Maikyau, noted that while election was made that citizens vote secretly, he noted that most legislators and members of the executive arm of government particularly President Muhammadu Buhari displayed how he voted.
“This is one of the offenses of the Electoral Act. The worst of it all, was where a Nigerian is no more honoured or recognized as Nigerian. That is voters profiling. We witnessed it in general elections, Governorship and state Houses of Assembly elections. It is not only in Lagos but in some states.
“We saw how they carried out intimidation and we saw how they did all sorts of things but up till now, nobody has been called to account for such,” he noted.
Maikyau however, expressed confidence that now that the elections are over and being contested at the courts, the judiciary will live up to expectations to right the wrongs.
“The elections no doubt has come and gone. The attention has shifted to the judiciary. As a lawyer, we are very optimistic that the judiciary will discharge their responsibility without fear or favour. That, I can assure because it remains the last hope of the common man,” he further said.
Earlier in his welcome address, Executive Secretary of the NHRC, Chief Tony Ojukwu, said the fifth forum would focus on “Accountability for electoral crimes and human rights violations during and after the 2023 elections.”
Ojukwu, who was represented by the Project Coordinator, Hillary Ogbonna, said it was styled to be a media event where the media gets data and information that they would disseminate to Nigerians.
“That was why since February, the Commission had been publishing the dashboard of the human rights on elections,” he said.