An observer group, Yiaga Africa, on Thursday called on security forces to disclose the number of electoral offenders detained during the latest gubernatorial elections held in Osun state on July 16.

Board Member, Yiaga Africa, Mr. Ezenwa Nwagwu, made the call at a post-election stakeholder meeting including civil society organizations (CSOs) and media practitioners, which was held in Osogbo, Osun State.

According to him, the security apparatus should be able to provide the general public with details of those arrested for electoral crimes and punish them according to the laws of the country.

However, he expressed his dismay at the large numbers of security agents sent to the state for election surveillance, and a detailed report was given on those who violated the electoral rules.

The Yiaga boss insisted there is a provision in the law to punish voter buyers and sellers and ballot box thieves among other offenders arrested during the poll.

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“If the security forces are unable to arrest and prosecute an violator for vote buying and selling, an investigation should be launched for the deployment of 21,000 police officers, 11,000 Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC), State Security Service and Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) ) in the just concluded elections.

Explaining what informed the stakeholder meeting, he stated that “the group met with the stakeholders participating in the election process in the state to know where improvements can be made in future elections for
the organization’s past recommendations have improved the electoral process in Nigeria.”

He instructed the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to prevent people from multiple voting in the name of transferring voter cards through the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS).

According to him, “We are coming from the primary to Election Day and after the Election. When we engage partners, we also want to be able to maintain that relationship with them. The resulting recommendations can go to INEC and can go to security services.

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In his own submission to the program, the President of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), Comrade Wasiu Ajadosu, Yiaga Africa, commended INEC and all critical stakeholders for their peaceful conduct during the poll.

Ajadosu told INEC not to see the Osun elections as a perfect process, and urged them to keep improving the electoral process in the country.

The chairman of the network of NGOs in Osun State, Comrade Michael Oluseyi, also praised the security services and INEC for their professional conduct during the elections.

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