Nigerian Political Class Not Prepared To Allow Democracy Thrive – Femi Falana

Popular human rights lawyer, Femi Falana has said members of the political class are not ready to allow democracy to “survive” in Nigeria.

Falana while speaking on Monday in an interview on Channels Television, added that the February 25 presidential and national assembly elections were marred by “violence and thuggery”.

With regards to conduct of the elections, he said the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) must “finetune” its strategies ahead of the March 18 elections.

“The presidential and national assembly elections were marred by insecurity in many places, late arrival of materials, violence, thuggery, and manipulation of the results,” Falana said.

“INEC has admitted that there were logistics and technological challenges. That is the way INEC has put it. Nobody is saying the elections were perfectly conducted.

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“There were challenges. What we may therefore have to address and that is the issue that will come up before the court is the degree of crises that occurred with respect to the elections.

“INEC would have to go back to the drawing table to finetune its strategies. I think that is an admission on the part of INEC that all did not go down well. What we may have to do therefore is to learn from the experience.”

On the electoral offences, Falana said those who have been arrested for electoral violations during the elections must be prosecuted.

“Members of the political class have largely shown that they are not really prepared to allow democracy to survive in our country.

“That is why for me it is not enough to review the last elections without putting on trial those who have been arrested for various electoral practices, malfeasance, manipulation of results, illegal possession of arms and ammunition, shooting recklessly to scare voters, and those caught with money with a view to inducing voters,” he said.