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General News of Wednesday, 16 September 2020

Source: Punch

UK threatens sanctions for perpetrators of poll violence

This comes barely 24 hours after the US imposed its restrictions This comes barely 24 hours after the US imposed its restrictions

Barely 24 hours after the United States imposed visa restrictions on politicians who perpetrated electoral violence in Kogi and Bayelsa states, the United Kingdom has threatened stiffer penalties for individuals involved in similar crimes in the September 19 and October 10 governorship elections in Edo and Ondo states, respectively.

The UK threatened to, among other things, deny such persons access to their assets in Britain in addition to visa restrictions and possible prosecution under international law.

This was contained in a statement titled, ‘UK statement on the upcoming Edo and Ondo governorship elections,’ on its Twitter handle on Tuesday.

The British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing, in the statement, said she held meetings with the leaders of the All Progressives Congress and the People’s Democratic Party on the Saturday’s governorship elections in Edo State.

The statement read “The UK takes a strong stand against election-related violence and just as we did in the general election in 2019, we will continue to take action against individuals we identify as being responsible for violence during elections.

“This could include restrictions on their eligibility to travel to the UK, restrictions on access to UK-based assets or prosecution under international law.”

It promised to continue providing support for the polls and urged the Independent National Electoral Commission, the police and other agencies involved in the electoral process to deliver free, fair and credible elections.

Meanwhile, a group, Concerned Nigerians, has commended the visa restrictions imposed by the US government on election riggers in Kogi and Bayelsa states.

Convener of the group, Deji Adeyanju, in a statement in Abuja, on Tuesday said, “The visa ban will send a strong signal to those who are always available to be used by politicians to rig elections, manipulate results and perpetrate violence during elections that actions have consequences.”

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