Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project has dragged the Independent National Electoral Commission to court over its failure to prosecute suspected vote-buyers during the recently concluded Ekiti State gubernatorial election.
The election had reportedly been marred with vote-buying and electoral bribery in some polling units.
A political party was said to have induced voters in Ekiti with as much as N10,000.
The election was won by the All Progressives Congress’ candidate, Biodun Oyebanji, who polled 187, 057.
However, in suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/1189/2022 filed at the Federal High Court, Abuja, last Friday, SERAP is seeking “an order of mandamus to direct and compel INEC to seek and obtain detailed information about reports of vote-buying by the three leading political parties in the 2022 Ekiti State governorship election.
SERAP is seeking “an order of mandamus to direct and compel INEC to promptly and effectively prosecute those arrested, and to bring to justice anyone who sponsored, aided and abetted them.”
According to the organization, “wealthy candidates and their sponsors ought not to be allowed to profit from their crimes. Arresting and prosecuting vote buyers will end widespread impunity for vote buying ahead of the February 2023 general elections.”
The suit was filed on behalf of SERAP by its lawyers, Opeyemi Owolabi and Kolawole Oluwadare.