NHRC, HURIDAC launch report on human rights assessment of 2019 elections

By Edith Nwapi

#TrackNigeria: The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) in collaboration with the Human Rights Advancement Development Advocacy Centre (HURIDAC) on Monday launched a report on human rights assessment of 2019 elections .

Speaking at the event, Mr Tony Ojukwu, Executive Secretary of the commission said that the report explored elections management in Nigeria and provided insight into the frameworks and international standards.

He added that this underscored the interplay between the exercises of the human rights of Nigerian citizens to vote.

“This report is aimed at ensuring that the will of the citizens count im elections in order to adjudge it free, fair and credible in Nigeria.

“The report also identifies the emerging and shifting risks of election violence for Nigeria’s 2019 elections with focus on unlawful killing, injuries, and destruction of properties.

“Also vote trading and others, and the report provided recommendations for authorities and stakeholders supporting the electoral process to help mitigate these risks”.

According to Ojukwu, the report indicated that destruction of properties ranked highest with 37 per cent of the total computed figures in the elections, injuries 25 percent while politically related deaths 19.

He further said politically motivated deaths had 13 per cent and extra judicial killings 6.

Ojukwu also noted that security forces were victims in 10 per cent of cases they were allegedly perpetrators in 90 per cent of cases they were involved.

He said according to the report, total incidence violence indicated that Kwara ranked highest having 21 per cent because of high level of destruction of properties followed by Kaduna 14, for high level of political related killings.

The FCT according to him, was third with 12 per cent due to high level of injuries sustained by police officers.

He said ensuring electoral accountability and justice was essential which should not be limited to only  free and fairness  of elections.

“It goes beyond that and indicates accountability, compensation and remedy for all victims and survivors of the crimes committed during electoral process.

“It also includes bringing to justice those who commit crimes or engage in electoral infractions during election’’, he said.

According to Ojukwu, unless these persons are arrested prosecuted and punished, impunity will continue to thrive in elections.

Speaking in the same vein, Mr Ayodele Ameen, Executive Director (HURIDAC) said that the purpose of human rights was to protect the citizens of a country.

According to him the report showed that a total of about 174 deaths were recorded during the 2019 elections which was not good.

He therefore called on the politicians to build peace among themselves and make sure that elections were not ruined by violence and killings

Ameen said that perpetrators should also be brought to book so that these political killings would not repeat itself come 2023 elections.(NAN)

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