The United Kingdom (UK) has announced that it will take stand against violence offenders in Nigeria during the governorship elections scheduled for Sep 19, adding that it would prosecute them under international law.
In a statement released by the British High Commission, it was disclosed that election spectators would be set up on observation tasks for the approaching Edo and Ondo polls. The statement further outlined that those found to be sponsors of electoral violence could face visa restrictions on UK-owned assets.
The statement read: “The UK takes a strong stand against election-related violence and just as we did in the general election in 2019, we will continue to take action against individuals we identify as being responsible for violence during elections. This could include restrictions on their eligibility to travel to the UK, restrictions on access to UK-based assets or prosecution under international law.”
The British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing held a meeting with the leaders of the two main political parties namely; the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to discuss the issue of violence.
“These elections are important, both as an essential element of effective governance within both states and an indicator of the strength of Nigeria’s democratic institutions,” said the commissioner.
The UK statement came after the American government has announced that it has imposed visa restrictions on Nigerian individuals who were reported to have been involved in electoral misconduct in the Kogi and Bayelsa governorship elections last year November.
The national chairman of the PDP, Uche Secondus, and the former Senate President, Bukola Saraki urged the UK, European Union, and other democratic governments on Tuesday, September 15, 2020, to apply the same protocol to tackle electoral misconduct in Nigeria.