The Development Law Group has called for sanctions against the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the shoddy handling of the election processes leading to the postponement of the exercise.
In a release signed by the partner/Head, Development Law Group, Dr. Wilfred Mamah and the Associate, Development Law Group, Derin Fagbure, the duo said they had carefully studied the situation leading to the postponement and come to the conclusion that electoral body mishandled the process.
They noted the lack of preparation by INEC after a four year costly preparation for the exercise and backed the decision to postpone the election so that the country could get it right by conducting a credible, free and fair elections.
According to them, after distilling the facts of the issue, they came to the conclusion that the issues involved in the shifting of the elections were beyond the textual interpretation of the Constitution or the electoral Act while the Nigeria people should be the benchmark for testing the reasonableness of the said postponement.
“INEC’S admitted un-readiness, after four years of costly preparation, is a clear demonstration that the Nigerian people who have been counting on February 14 2015 as the day to exercise their ultimate power of choice have not received value for their money. The fact that Nigerians were led to believe that INEC was ready for the election raises serious questions of transparency and credibility.
“This postponement, therefore, raises a structural challenge of disorder and lack of accountability in Nigeria.
“By creating this uncertainty, INEC has shown itself to be either incompetent or grossly negligent. Their actions and inactions have caused serious psychological dent on Nigerians, home and abroad.
The attendant social, political and economic costs are massive. Internationally, INEC’s lethargy gravely affects our national image and fuels the growing perception of corruption and disorder.
“In an ordered society, there should be a price to pay for incompetence or negligence. Therefore, it is right and proper that INEC be reprimanded for this breach of trust", they said.
“For all the political parties, this delay and general disquiet it has caused should send a clear signal that there is a higher stake in the 2015 elections. That stake is the very survival of the State itself. Therefore, all political actors must cautiously guard their words and actions.
“For the general public, ‘delay is not denial’. Let this postponement serve as a wake-up call for all eligible voters to pick up their Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) and prepare to exercise and defend their ultimate right to affirm or revoke power.
“For the Federal Government of Nigeria, it is very crucial that 29 May 2015 handover of power remains consecrated. No further defilements or deferments should be contemplated. The incumbent President and government owe it as a solemn duty to the over 160 Million Nigerians to secure our State and democracy”, they concluded.