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2023 Election

#NigeriaDecides: United States Asked To Ban Visas, Freeze Assets Of Nigerian Politicians After Election Violence In Lagos, Others




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The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has urged the United States of America to ban Nigerian officials, politicians and other perpetrators responsible for the violence during yesterday’s February 25 election.

The group also urged America’s President, Joe Biden to block or revoke the visas of any individual suspected of election violence, intimidation, or harassment and to impose asset freezes and property sanctions on them and their families.

Naija News reports that there have been allegations of election violence in some states of the country, including in Akwa Ibom, Enugu, Gombe, Lagos, Edo, Ogun, Osun, Rivers, and Taraba states, and Abuja.

In a letter dated February 25, 2023 and signed by SERAP Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare, the organization noted that the imposition was targeted at suspected perpetrators and sponsors of election-related violence in the country and would promote accountability, end impunity, and deter human rights violations.

SERAP also maintained that such a move would stop future violence and also facilitate free and fair elections, and encourage the people to exercise their right to vote.

The letter, read in part: “The recommended travel bans, asset freezes and property sanctions should also cover anyone who may perpetrate and sponsor violence and human rights crimes during the postponed elections in 141 polling units, and the governorship elections scheduled for March 2023.”

SERAP welcomes your government’s publicly expressed commitment to impose visa restrictions on officials, politicians and other perpetrators and sponsors of election-related intimidation, harassment, and violence. We urge you to include asset freezes and property sanctions on the list.”

“Giving serious consideration to our recommendations and promptly implementing them would give meaning to this commitment, and demonstrate the willingness of your government to support and strengthen democracy, citizens’ participation and the rule of law, as well as end a culture of election-related violence in Nigeria.

“SERAP notes that presidential proclamations 7750 and 8697 underscore the US ‘enduring commitment to respect for human rights and humanitarian law’, which requires that its Government be able to ensure that the US does not become a safe haven for suspected violators of human rights, including election-related intimidation, harassment and violence.

The proclamations also aim to help the US authorities to secure peace, promote the rule of law, combat crime and corruption, and strengthen democracies around the globe.

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Significantly, the presidential proclamations underscore that it is in the interests of the United States to take action to restrict the international travel and to suspend the entry into the United States, as immigrants or non-immigrants, of certain persons who are suspected to be involved in serious violations of human rights.”