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NGO lauds nullification of Etsako Central assembly election

By Simon Ebegbulem

BENIN — A non-governmental organisation, African Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ) yesterday described the nullification of April 2007 House of Assembly election in Etsako Central local government area of Edo State by the Appeal Court in Benin as commendable.

ANEEJ urged the Indepen-dent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to set a machinery in motion to ensure a violence-free re-run election.

The group said, though the Appeal Court judgement had again provided a fresh ray of hope for democracy and reinforced the peoples’ belief in the Rule of Law, the re-run poll should be seen as another opportunity to avoid mistakes of the past in the area.

In a statement signed by its Executive Director, Rev. David Ugolor, ANEEJ argued that the judgement of the court had shown that the long arm of the law would always catch up with election manipulators and riggers. He added that those involved in the annulment of the election should be considered heroes.

“As it has been the tradition of ANEEJ, we are interested in credible electoral process as a major hallmark of democracy and ultimately good governance, which are key ingredients for development. Those involv-ed in identifying the vampires in the election should be commended.

“We are deeply concerned about the issues that led to the Appeal Court ordering a re-run in Etsako Central and are interested in avoiding mistakes of the past and request that INEC should put in place machinery for a credible election which is free, fair and transparent,” he said.

ANEEJ also identified the need for INEC to ensure that electoral materials were delivered to all polling booths on time and that voting starts and ends on schedule. The NGO added that law enforce-ment agencies should be put in place for adequate and impartial security network to guarantee safety of lives.


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