From Akilani Abdullah, Lagos
A group, Stop Impunity Nigeria has accused the federal government of not being interested in the rule of law.
Addressing a press conference yesterday in Lagos to mark the start of the “Week of Action Against Impunity” for the last quarter of 2014, the Executive Director, Human Development Initiative, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye said its hard to remember any other occasion in Nigeria’s history when electoral politics fell so low to level of desperation.
He stated that the group is concerned about the signs and some forms of impunity in the electoral process across the political spectrum.
He said: “Several weeks ahead of the 2015 general elections, we are already quite concerned about the signs we are seeing of some of the worst forms of impunity in the electoral process across the political spectrum, more than we have seen in over 30years since the second Republic when the then Inspector-General of police, Mr. Sunday Adewusi, became a tool in the hands of the then ruling National party of Nigeria (NPN) for perpetrating electoral fraud and violence.
“In utter disregard for the principle of separation of powers, we are witnesses to the ceaseless use of the police and other security agencies to undermine the independence and effective functioning of the National Assembly, contrary to established democratic norms and practices, as well as the specific provisions the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance, to which Nigeria is a signatory.
“We are also seeing the constant use of the police and other security agencies, which have completely lost of credibility and any sense of objectivity or impartiality, to harass critics, opponents, and opposition political parties, culminating in last Saturday’s raid on the offices of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in Lagos where supposed law enforcement agents wrecked havoc and wanton destruction on the equipment and property of the main opposition party and harassed its workers.
“The actions endanger our democracy. They do not create a conducive atmosphere for the elections and certainly do not inspire the confidence that there will be a level-playing field for all the contestants or that the election will be free and fair.” He argued.