Background Briefing


To All Political Parties:

  • Halt the practice of, and refrain from future hiring of, youths for the purposes of intimidating or causing violence against opponents, civilians or state agents. Immediately disband and disarm any such ad hoc groups formed for these purposes.
  • Expel from the party any candidate found to be hiring and arming groups of people for the purposes of causing violence as part of campaigns.
  • Publicly commit to pursuing justice for grievances before, during and after the elections through legitimate peaceful channels.

To the Nigerian Police:

  • Proactively investigate and prosecute politicians and political parties suspected of breaking the law in the course of their campaigns. In particular, pursue politicians suspected of hiring gangs to intimidate or cause violence; distributing arms and ammunition; buying votes; and seeking to subvert the mandated duties of state agents such as INEC or the police.
  • Investigate and prosecute all individuals responsible for violent crimes committed as part of the election campaigns.
  • Publicly acknowledge that the sponsoring of violence by prominent politicians is a law enforcement issue.

To the Federal Government of Nigeria:

  • Guarantee the independence of the police to pursue their normal duties without restraint and without fear of reprisals.
  • Facilitate the independent and speedy remedy of election disputes submitted to election tribunals following the polls.
  • Investigate and prosecute holders of public office that steal public funds for use in political campaigning. All such investigations and prosecutions must be conducted in accordance with international standards for fair trials and due process.

To the Independent National Electoral Commission:

  • Obey all court judgments concerning the elimination of candidates from the ballot.
  • Integrate the state voters lists into one national voters register and publish it in full on the internet with breakdowns by ward and polling centre and display the relevant list at every polling station throughout the Federal Republic without delay.
  • Guarantee international and domestic election observers the right to observe all aspects of the voting process including voting, collation, and final tabulation of votes.
  • Take proactive measures to ensure that voting results at the polling station level are announced at that the polling station in line with stated INEC policy.

To Domestic and International Election Observers:

  • Take into consideration incidents of political violence and intimidation preceding election day in assessments of the freedom and fairness of voting.
  • Consider the flaws experienced during the voter registration process including the lack of a credible display period, the failure to verify the list, and the failure to publish the list in full.
  • Consider the legal obstacles placed in the way of opposition candidates seeking office including the selective use of indictments for corruption to disqualify some candidates from the contest.
  • Demand access to all stages of the election process including collation and tabulation of results at the state and federal level.

To the United Nations and Nigeria’s International Partners:

  • Exert all possible influence on the Federal Government of Nigeria to take active steps to investigate, prosecute and prevent political violence by politicians, including vigorous investigations to uncover the financial sponsors of political violence wherever it occurs.
  • Provide whatever assistance INEC requires to publish the voters register in full and to publish a list of voters registered at each polling station at the site of the polling stations.
  • Take into account evidence from all election monitoring groups as well as the violence that has marked the pre-election period when assessing the conduct of the elections and their freedom and fairness.