“The rigging of the 2003 general elections in Nigeria was the greatest naked deceit in the history of Nigeria. Usurpers, racketeers, forgers and betrayers who were adequately financed and incredibly compensated by those who hold the reins of power, using the machinery of state, perfected it Quoted in Nowinta’s book[2009]: WHERE WE ARE(page 130/131)
In his epic classic: ‘Crime and Punishment’, Russian legendary author and novelist, Fyodor Dostoyevstic made it abundantly clear that crime in whatever guise or form must go with punishment. And that no matter how long it takes crime must receive its own natural reward or punishment.
With the result of March 28th Presidential and the National Assembly Elections being counted, it is sad that nobody is saying anything about electoral crime in Nigeria and punishing the culprits.
In ‘Crime and Punishment’ the chief character, Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov quietly committed a crime but in the end he went to prison to serve his punishment. Talking about crime and punishment, it is only in Nigeria that people will commit electoral offences but nothing is happening to them; as they normally go Scott free.
Precisely, since 1999 when democracy strenuously walked its way back to the Federal Republic of Nigeria, those who have committed one form of heinous crimes and the other in the name of electoral offences have never really been adequately prosecuted, not to talk of punishing them. What we have had regrettably is the ugly situation where people who wilfully engaged in electoral offences have been perfectly shielded from justice by the so called powerful or well connected individuals within the polity.
Extremely worried by this unpalatable development, the United States Assistant Secretary for African Affairs, Linda Thomas-Grinfield, on February 17th 2014, called on the Federal Government of Nigeria to establish Electoral Offences Tribunal
Equally ebbuliently concerned and patriotic about sanitizing the electoral process in Nigeria by any means necessary, Chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Attahiru Jega has repeatedly canvassed for the Electoral Offences Tribunal. I have equally written profusely on this matter too. Sometimes ago, Lagos Lawyer and renowned prodemocracy and human rights activist, Femi Falana also lent his voice stridently for the establishment of the Electoral Offences Tribunal
In all of this, the Jonathan presidency seems not to give a damn about the urgent need for the setting up of this all important Tribunal. Why? What will it really take to create this body? What are our federal law makers saying about this issue
The other day a Peace Accord was signed in Abuja, by leading presidential candidates of political parties fielding candidates in the 2015 general elections. And subsequent Peace Accords have been signed by various candidates contesting the 2015 elections at the state levels. But, we all know in the face of these signed Peace Accords across the country election related violence has been on the increase. The reason for this terrible setback is not far fetched.
Desperate politicians will always ply their game of violence knowingly full well that there is no official punishment attached to their nawseating political ambitions. This is the truth and nothing but the truth!
If the powers that be are serious and sincere with prosecuting a violence free general elections in 2015,an autonomous and ad hoc committee to be made up of  reputable, stainless men and women of impeccable character should be set up without  delay.
If a typical Nigerian politician knows that a credible, uncompromising and blunt body like the Electoral Offences Tribunal is in place, surely he or she will behave and play the game according to the rules.
Really, if this is put in place, all cases of electoral related impunity offences within the country will be drastically reduced. It will be like a magical wand that will sanitise and compliment all the gallant efforts of Professor Jega and his team at INEC.
The problem with Nigeria really is the elite who has fraudulently and violently tested power and in the process become absolutely drunk with the intoxicating wine of power. The political elite has selfishly refused to build institutions and sustain them to serve the generality of Nigerians. This is where we are!
As I pen this piece some Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftains have gone to town canvassing that Professor Jega should abandon the card readers for the rest general elections, even as INEC has used the card readers successfully across the country during the last Saturday elections
Must we allow ourselves to be browbeaten , silenced and cajoled into submission by a tiny set of people that want political business to be conducted as usual in the Federal Republic of Nigeria? Certainly, we should be able to stand our grounds on the issues of the Permanent Voters Card (PVC),Card Readers and walk shoulder to shoulder with Professor Jega.
At this critical stage, civil society organisations and well meaning Nigerians must shout aloud and ask the powers that be: ‘Where is the Electoral Offences Tribunal’. This body can still be set up as the 2015 elections have kicked off. It is absolutely imperative
Society will ultimately graduate into chaos and anarchy when there is no definite punishment attach to electoral crime in Nigeria. This is the road our country is heading dangerously except we pause and act fast now.
Nowinta wrote, WHERE WE ARE-A CALL FOR DEMOCRATIC REVOLUTION IN NIGERIA.