Natasha Akpoti, Social Democratic Party (SDP) governorship candidate in the 2019 Kogi State governorship election, has said the decision by the United States Government to impose visa ban on individuals who allegedly rigged the poll validates her claim.
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Akpoti, in a statement on Tuesday, also applauded the US government.
The SDP candidate ran against the incumbent governor, Yahaya Bello, and lost.
She filed a petition against the election results at the Supreme Court, but lost.
The apex court held that Akpoti and her party failed to substantiate their claims that the governorship election was rigged.
But US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, released a statement on Monday, announcing visa restrictions for some individuals, over their actions in the November 2019 Kogi and Bayelsa elections, and in the run-up to the September and October 2020 Edo and Ondo States gubernatorial elections respectively.
According to her, the visa ban should also be extended to individuals who work in institutions like the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), that have been charged with the responsibility to conduct free and fair elections.
”The action by the US government goes a long way to validate all claims my party and I made at the courts with regards to the gross irregularities of electoral processes amidst violence to install Yahaya Bello as governor of Kogi state.
“To think the Supreme Court dismissed my petition as being flimsy and lacked evidence whereas all INEC result sheets tendered as evidence had no SDP on them; shows the depth of corruption and dishonesty of the Nigerian judicial system.
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“Nigeria should remember that she doesn’t exist in isolation but as part of a community of third world countries whose actions shape her international relations with allies.
“No doubt, the Nov. 2019 election has setback Nigeria’s democracy decades of progress backwards and I do hope this ban is limited not only to the individuals in Kogi state government but principals of institutions who were saddled with the responsibility to ensure free, fair and safe elections such as INEC,” the statement read.