Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has urged US President Joe Biden to exercise his powers “pursuant to the Presidential Proclamations 7750 and 8697 and the Immigration and Nationality Act to ban Nigerian officials, politicians and other perpetrators and sponsors of violence during the just concluded elections.”
SERAP also urged Mr Biden to “use the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act to block or revoke the visas of anyone suspected to be responsible for cases of intimidation, harassment and violence during the elections, and to impose asset freezes and property sanctions on them and their families.”
The letter dated 25 February 2023 and signed by SERAP deputy director, Kolawole Oluwadare followed reports of cases of election-related intimidation, harassment and violence in some states including in Akwa Ibom, Enugu, Gombe, Lagos, Edo, Ogun, Osun, Rivers, and Taraba states, and Abuja.
According to the organisation “the imposition of sanctions against suspected perpetrators and sponsors of election-related violence in Nigeria would promote accountability, end impunity, and deter human rights violations.”
“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”, the letter read in part.
Writing by Annabel Nwachukwu; Edited by Tina Oyinsan