Party Primaries: NHRC Urges INEC To Resist Impunity

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The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to stand up against impunity and reject the result of any primary that was not monitored by the electoral umpire.

The Executive Secretary of the Commission Tony Ojukwu Esq. made this call while addressing newsmen on the rights of Nigerians to participate in governance at the headquarters of the Commissision.

He said the Commission has watched with dismay the impunity displayed by political parties across board in the process of choosing candidates during the just concluded party primaries preceding the 2019 general elections.

“The Commission has received  complaints on the denial of the rights to participate in governance through free, fair, open and inclusive conduct of party primaries” he said.

 Ojukwu lamented that the denial of the rights to participate in governance and elections as guaranteed by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as well as other international instrument to which Nigeria is a party is a threat to our democracy.

While commending INEC on the action taken on the Zamfara State Governorship Primaries the NHRC Boss enjoins it to do more, saying if no further serious actions are taken the situation may affect the credibility of elections, overheat the polity, increase conflict, hate speech and election related violence ahead of the 2019 general elections.

The human rights Czar also urged the Judiciary to support the building of a credible, fair, inclusive and open process of selecting leaders in Nigeria and provide the enabling environment for the sustenance and deepening of democracy in Nigeria.

In another development, the NHRC’s CEO who chaired an investigative panel on alleged wrongful termination of appointment of some civil servants in Ekiti State  said the Commission will do all that is within its powers to protect the rights of Nigerian workers.

The Counsel to the Ekiti State government Mr. Olawale Fapohunda said thethey state has no doubt in the Commission’s ability to handle the cases brought before it in a just manner.

Six cases of wrongful termination of appointments were heard by the panel as the Commission prepares for Sitting of the Presidential panel on Special Anti -Robbery Squad (SARS) reform at the FCT High Court on Monday by 9am.

It would be recalled that the Presidency had requested the Commission to set up a Panel on SARS reform following several allegations of human rights violation by the Squad.


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