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Civil Society Coalition Demands Establishment Of Election Offences Tribunal

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A coalition of Civil Society groups, the Nigeria Human Rights Community, NHRC, has urged the federal government to consider the recommendations of Justice Uwais that recommended establishment of election tribunals to try Electoral offenders.

Making public its report after monitoring the Ekiti state governorship election, the group’s director of programmes, Taiwo Adeleye commended the overall conduct of the election.

He said security arrangement was adequate resulting in peaceful atmosphere, noting that the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC) performed well especially in the area of giving priority voting access to special groups including the aged, breastfeeding mothers etc.

“There were few cases of malfunctioning machines, but these were not significant. It should be observed that in many polling booths, the INEC isolated the elderly, breast feeding mothers and the sick allowing them to vote first. We commend the efforts of the INEC staff for this unique improvement in the voting standards when compared with what was obtained in the previous years”, it said.

The group also commended the coverage of the election by the print and electronic media, saying there was a conscious attempt by the media to report in an objective and balanced manner.

Adeleye said though it was a local election, the presence of mainstream media from across the country was commendable, while the aspirants largely had access to the mainstream media as the media also in many respects avoided sensationalism.

The report observed certain irregularities on the part of politicians especially with regard to vote buying.

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