UNITED Kingdom government officials are considering taking action against any Nigerian government officials including confiscating any assets they may have in Britain if they are involved in election rigging or violence in the forthcoming Edo and Ondo states elections.
This weekend September 19, the Edo State gubernatorial elections will be taking place, while in Ondo state, the governorship pools are scheduled for October 10. According to the British high commission in Nigeria, sanctions could include restrictions on their eligibility to travel to the UK, restrictions on access to UK-based assets and prosecution under international law.
Only 24 hours ago, the US imposed visa restrictions on politicians who masterminded violence and rigging of the governorship elections in Kogi and Bayelsa States. Catriona Laing, the British high commissioner to Nigeria, said she has held meetings with the leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on the elections.
She explained that the parley focused on the need for the parties to prevail on their supporters to avoid violence before, during, and after the elections. However, the high commission said that the UK welcomed the signing of a peace accord by the governorship candidates in Edo State.
In addition, the commission revealed that it would be deploying observation missions for both the Edo and Ondo elections, while supporting civil society-led observation. With tension rising by the day, there are fears that the polls may be marred with vote rigging and electoral violence.
“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,” the UK high commission said.