According to a recent report from The INDEPENDENT, two Civil Society Organizations representing Nigerians living in the United Kingdom have sent a petition to British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, drawing his attention to the ongoing Presidential Election Tribunal in Nigeria.
The petition, dated May 14, 2023, was jointly written by the POSupport Network (POSN) and Diaspora Action for Democracy (DAD). In it, Nigerians residing in the UK appeal to Prime Minister Sunak to emphasize the importance of fairness, transparency, justice, democratic principles, and the upholding of the Nigerian Constitution and the amended 2022 Electoral Act by the Nigerian Judiciary, National Assembly, and Executive.
Furthermore, the groups urge the Prime Minister to formally express the UK government’s interest in the proceedings of the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal and to insist that the judiciary delivers a fair and credible judgment on the cases submitted by opposition candidates.
The letter, signed by Dr. Udeinya Onovo (Head of Strategy and Research Coordinator for POSN) and Dr. Innocent Nweke (Global Coordinator for DAD), also calls upon the British government to impose severe sanctions on politicians who are found to have engaged in actions that allegedly undermined the integrity of the presidential polls held on February 25.
These sanctions should extend not only to the politicians themselves but also to their families and associates.
By submitting this petition, the Nigerian diaspora community in the UK aims to raise awareness and seek international support for the promotion of transparency, fairness, and democratic values in Nigeria’s electoral processes. They believe that holding those responsible for any electoral misconduct accountable will help safeguard the country’s democratic institutions and uphold the principles of justice.
It remains to be seen how the British Prime Minister will respond to this petition and what actions, if any, the UK government will take in relation to the concerns raised by these Nigerian Civil Society Organizations.