“Courts Have Legitimise Vote-buying” – Falana Cries Out
Prominent human rights lawyer and activist, Femi Falana has today April 10 lamented over the activities of vote-buying, saying Nigerian courts have legitimised the menace.
Falana said this while speaking at the ninth forum of the anti-corruption situation room in Abuja, called for measures to be put in place to reform Nigeria’s electoral process “in a way that we will not be all collectively disgraced.”
According to him, since 1999, the purchase of votes has been the order of the day. He said,
“Unfortunately, under the current political dispensation, our courts have legitimised vote-buying and other violations of the provisions of the electoral act.
“I will refer to few cases. In the case of Falae and Obasanjo, in 1999, it was proved in the court of appeal that bags of rice, salt and garri were distributed to entice voters for the candidate of the ruling party, General Olusegun Obasanjo.
“The court of appeal so found such infraction of the law, however, it turned round to say even those distributing were said to be PDP stalwarts, the court of appeal said it was not proven that there were winners of the election.
“Since then, the purchase of votes, bribing of voters have been the order of the day.
“The battle ahead is how we are going to reform the democratic session in a way that we will not be all collectively disgraced. We have never gone this low where publicly people are trading in votes. We never went that low.”
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