To the government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria

  • Launch a transparent, comprehensive, and impartial inquiry into allegations of corruption, vote-rigging, and sponsorship of political violence during Nigeria’s April 2007 elections. The inquiry should aim to uncover the architects and sponsors of such crimes, focusing especially on:

      • The role of elected officials and the leadership of federal institutions including Nigeria’s police force and Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), and
      • Allegations of improper political manipulation of the EFCC, INEC, the police and other government institutions prior to and during the 2007 election campaign.

    This inquiry should be implemented by an independent body created and overseen with the input of stakeholders including civil society groups. Findings should be made public and should result in criminal investigations in which there is evidence of criminal wrongdoing. The inquiry should also result in recommendations to be taken into account by Nigeria’s Electoral Reform Panel.

  • Enact and aggressively implement the Freedom of Information Bill, which would provide Nigerians a tool to compel government institutions to make public important information including basic data concerning expenditures and government policy.

  • Respect the independence of Nigeria’s Electoral Reform Panel, ensure the transparency of its deliberations and conclusions, and publicly explain in detail the reasons for enacting each of the Panel’s recommendations, or for not doing so.

  • Enact a law requiring the president, all members of the National Assembly and all ministers in the federal cabinet to follow and sustain President Yar’Adua’s example by issuing and publicizing annual declarations of the total value of all personal assets. Require senior state and local government officials to do the same.

  • Implement the decisions of Nigeria’s electoral tribunals relating to the conduct of the 2007 polls. When those rulings indicate a pervasive level of fraud, initiate investigations with a view to possible criminal prosecution of those responsible.

  • Help expedite all election-related litigation by directing INEC, the security services, and other institutions to readily provide all information required for the adjudication of those disputes.

  • Publicly acknowledge and condemn political interference in the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)’s investigations of ruling party politicians, which has impeded the EFCC’s effectiveness and credibility.

  • Direct the Nigerian police to immediately investigate serious allegations of corruption, mobilization of political violence, electoral fraud and other crimes prior to the 2007 elections. These should include allegations of criminal activity, reported by Human Rights Watch and others, implicating Alhaji Lamidi Adedibu and Governor Christopher Alao-Akala in Oyo State; Chris and Andy Uba in Anambra State; Peter Odili and Abiye Sekibo in Rivers State; current and former state government officials linked to Yan Kalare gangs in Gombe State; and current and former state government officials linked to PDP youth militias in Katsina state.

  • Propose an Amendment to the Nigerian Constitution that would rescind the immunity from all criminal prosecution currently enjoyed by sitting governors.

  • Launch a transparent, comprehensive and impartial investigation into allegations of police complicity or inaction in the face of human rights abuse and fraud connected to Nigeria’s 2007 elections.

  • To the Nigerian Police Force

  • Proactively investigate and prosecute as appropriate politicians and party officials suspected of committing criminal offenses during the 2007 election campaigns. Give particular attention to offenses that impact broadly on democratic governance in Nigeria: hiring gangs to intimidate or use violence against the opposition; distributing arms and ammunition; systematically buying votes; and engaging in bribery or other unlawful practices with government institutions such as INEC or the police.

  • Publicly acknowledge the obligation of law enforcement to combat political violence and corruption, and adopt and enforce a new policy to proactively pursue the sponsors of political violence.

  • To the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission

  • Conduct comprehensive and impartial investigations and prosecute former and current elected officials credibly implicated in corruption, including the improper use of government money to subvert the 2007 electoral process. Investigate or publicly articulate the reasons for not investigating all 31 state governors described as “corrupt” by EFCC Executive Chairman Nuhu Ribadu before the Nigerian Senate in 2006.

  • To Nigeria’s foreign partners

  • Exert influence on the federal government of Nigeria to take active steps to vigorously investigate, prosecute, and prevent political violence by politicians and their financial sponsors during the 2007 elections.

  • Denounce selective investigation and prosecutions by the EFCC and other anti-corruption bodies. Take measures, including the publication of information as appropriate, to pressure the EFCC to take action against public officials implicated in corruption through the EFCC’s own investigations.

  • Deny visas to any Nigerian public official credibly implicated in systematic corruption or other serious criminal offenses.

  • Explore means of providing greater political and material support to improve the independence and capacity of the Nigerian judiciary.

  • Explore means of increasing support to Nigerian civil society organizations working to promote transparency, accountability, and respect for human rights in the conduct of government institutions.