SERAP Gives Governors 7-Day Ultimatum To Disclose SIECs’ Members, LGA Results


Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has given the 36 state governors seven days ultimatum to make public the details of chairpersons and members of the State Independent Electoral Commissions (SIECs) in the states, including their qualifications and political affiliations, if any, and the mechanisms of their appointments.

SERAP, which threatened to sue the governors if they failed to provide the information after seven days, also wants them to disclose the results of local government elections conducted in their states since 1999 and the voters’ register for any such polls.

The civil society organisation made the requests in a Freedom of Information request dated June 1, 2024, signed by SERAP deputy director Kolawole Oluwadare.

SERAP also urged the governors to clarify and explain how their states have complied with the requirements of the 1999 Constitution and international standings conducting local government elections in their states, including the details of any law regulating such polls.

The organisation further said that state governors have the constitutional responsibility to establish and allow independent electoral commissions to conduct local government elections fairly and impartially.

It also stated that state governors‘ reported interference in SIEC operations and the apparent manipulation of local government elections are incompatible with Nigerians’ right to participate effectively in their government.

SERAP claimed that governors’ reported interference in the operations of SIECs and manipulation of local government elections have seriously undermined the sanctity and integrity of the electoral process, public trust and confidence in the process, and the integrity of the country’s democracy.

The organisation maintained that local government elections in several states are susceptible to manipulation by governors and that the appointment process of chairpersons and members of SIECs and the operations of these commissions are shrouded in secrecy.

It also said state governors have reportedly continued to undermine the enjoyment of people’s right to participate in their government.

SERAP further averred that the combined effect of the Nigerian Constitution 1999 [as amended], the Electoral Act, and the country’s international obligations is the requirement that local government elections be organised by an independent and impartial electoral body.

It stated, “Human rights treaties also require state parties, including Nigeria, to ensure the independence and impartiality of national electoral bodies responsible for the management of elections, as well as to promote the establishment of the necessary conditions to foster citizen participation.

“The Nigerian Constitution, Freedom of Information Act, and the country’s human rights obligations rest on the principle that citizens should have access to information regarding their public institutions’ activities.

“The crisis confronting Nigerian elections and lack of public trust and confidence in local government elections can be addressed only if the elections are conducted by independent and impartial state electoral commissions and by the Nigerian Constitution and international standards,” SERAP said.


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