Revered human rights lawyer Femi Falana (SAN) has called on Nigerians to organise themselves in order to stand a chance at having credible elections in the future.
Speaking as a guest on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, the senior lawyer said the recent 2019 general election was an ‘expensive joke’.
“This country spent over N250 billion from the public purse on this useless enterprise apart from what each of the governors and political party spent, which is more than 250 billion,” he said.
“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, speaking on reported violence in parts of the country, said no matter the amount of preaching, electoral violence cannot end.
He, however, said it could end if the human rights community and the electoral offences tribunals putting more efforts in their dealings with electoral cases.
“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,” Falana said.
“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.
“From the human rights community, we are trying to partner with the police and the INEC to ensure that we can assemble young lawyers to take on the prosecution of the cases of behalf of INEC. Otherwise, everyone will go back to business as usual as soon as possible.”