The National Human Rights Commission, NHRC, on Thursday in Abuja, launched an initiative aimed at curbing electoral malpractices in the country.
The Commission unveiled a Technical Working Group which will seek to expose all electoral fraudsters between 2003 and 2013.
The TWG, with the support of Ford Foundation, OSIWA among others, is expected to review official government records and make its findings available to the Commission.
Professor Chidi Anselm Odinkalu, Chairman, Governing Council of NHRC said Nigeria has remained a country where certain individuals conspire to steal the people’s will.
Odinkalu noted also that official reports, not NGO reports, have repeatedly indicated the fact that electoral fraud has not been addressed, adding that candidates who rely on structures, instead of people’s votes, are never loyal to the people.
“There is evidence of those who have done this to us and we are going to start naming names based on official records.
“We have a will to name names and we will, even if it is the only thing we achieve as NHRC. We will name names of those who have been officially indicted in electoral impunity in our country. This is a fight for the future of this country.
Speaking, Professor Nsongurua Udombana, Chairman of the Technical Working Group, said “ the project undertakes an independent review of evidence of crime in election petition cases in Nigeria. It will document barefaced assault”.
Other members of the TWG include Professors Mustapha Akambi, Oluyemisi Bamgbose, Ifeoma Pamela, Taofik Ladan, Dr Abubakar Muazu and Dr Solomon Okuebe.
An interim report is expected soon, while the final report will be made available in 2014, Odinkalu said.
Present at the event were Chairman, Senate Committee on Human Rights, Senator Umaru Dahiru, former Minister FCT, Mallam Nasir el Rufai, representatives of OSIWA, Embassies, Nigeria Bar Association, European Union, United Nations Development Programme, political parties among others.
Senator Umaru called for more internal party democracy, as according to him, there will always be a crisis in a party that do not select candidates via transparent process.
He pledged total support to the TWG, urging the group to carry out is duties without fear or favour.