Ahead of the 2023 general elections, some politicians have been accused of weaponizing anti-corruption agencies with politically-motivated petitions in order to outdo their opponents.
The allegation was made by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC).
Warning the politicians to desist from sending what it described as ”frivolous petitions” against political opponents, the commission stated that such moves would not work with the ICPC.
This was made known on Friday by the Chairman of the commission, Bolaji Owasanoye, while hosting the leadership of the Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) at the commission’s headquarters in Abuja, affirming that the job of the commission was not meant to stop anybody from contesting.
The anti-graft boss agency, noted that ICPC had an existing understanding with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on how to go about genuine electoral petitions when the need arises.
He said, “Usually when the season for competition comes, there is a spike in politically-motivated petitions for wild-goose chases. Some are brazen enough to tell you that we should make sure to stop Mr A from contesting and they will bring a petition forward.
”That is not our job, and we will not get involved in those things. We pack those type of petitions aside basically. Even if there is implication of merit within the complaint, we will say go and compete first.
”We are not going to be the one to be used to give you the fair or unfair advantage. When the competition is over, we will decide on the merit or otherwise of what you have brought forward.
“We do have an understanding with INEC that in cases where contestants challenge each other in court and the decision says somebody forged a certificate for example, INEC will send those things to us, and we are prosecuting a few of them at the moment.”
”Those are ways we will add value without compromising ourselves or exposing our officers to the compromise and desperation of politicians during the contest,” he added.
He challenged political parties to do a self-check of candidates they field as the fortune of any nation relies on the type of leaders it gets, noting that the pruning process should start with political parties so that “charity should begin at home.”
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