Human rights activist, Femi Falana (SAN) on Wednesday alleged that about N250 billion was spent in prosecuting the just concluded elections from public purse.
The activist, who spoke on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, said the election was an ‘expensive joke,’ calling on Nigerians to organize themselves by going back to the drawing board if the country stood a chance at having credible elections.
According to him, “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.”
Falana also argued that no matter the amount of preaching, electoral violence would not end in the nation, except there was an effort by the human rights community and the electoral offences tribunal to follow through the cases after elections.
In his analysis, Falana said “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 elsewhere.”
“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.”
He said from the human rights communities, they were trying to partner with the police and the INEC to ensure that they could assemble young lawyers to take on the prosecution of the cases of behalf of INEC, saying otherwise, everyone would go back to business as usual as soon as possible.
The rights activist added 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.
In his words: “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.”