Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN) has
described the 2019 general elections as an
‘expensive joke’.
Falana, who was a guest on Channels
Television’s Sunrise Daily, urged Nigerians to
organize themselves by going back to the
drawing board if the country stands a chance at
having credible elections.
“This country spent over N250 billion
from public purse on this useless
enterprise apart from what each of the
governors and political party spent,
which is more than 250 billion.
If we want to get out of the crisis of
monumental dimension, we need to go
back to the drawing table, beyond the
two major political parties. Nigerians
must organize because this expensive
joke cannot continue.”
On the issue of reported violence across the
country, Falana believes that no matter the
amount of preaching, electoral violence cannot
end, except there is an effort by the human rights
community and the electoral offences tribunal to
follow through the cases after elections.
“We have close to 40 million illiterate
adults, the majority of them are roaming
the street. In such an environment, you
could preach till the second coming of
Christ, but that will not stop people from
getting involved in electoral offences and
other acts of criminality.

All those who have been caught
disrupting our elections are agents of
politicians. The police and security
agencies have arrested in the last 6
months, over 2000 electoral offenders,
what do we do with them, once the
elections are over, our attention will shift

An electoral offences tribunal are to take
over these cases like the EFCC or ICPC
and investigate them thoroughly and
charge those who have been indicted,
but the suggestion was rejected.
From the human rights community, we
are trying to partner with the police and
the INEC to ensure that we can assemble
young lawyers to take on the prosecution
of the cases of behalf of INEC.

Otherwise, everyone will go back to
business as usual as soon as possible.”
Falana also suggested that the option of ‘E-
Voting’ would be problematic, citing examples of
its use during the elections of the Institute of
Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, ICAN, and the
Nigeria Bar Association NBA.

“Electronic voting is not the solution with
the state of impunity and recklessness in
the country; it is difficult. The EFCC is
now investigating what we now call ‘E-
Rigging’ in the NBA. The E-Voting
system would be problematic because
our political class is rarely prepared for
credible elections,” he maintained.

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