Electoral crimes: UK visa ban threats all noise, ineffective- Prof. Akinyemi

by Ajuma Edwina Ameh
2 minutes read

A former Minister of External Affairs, Prof. Bolaji Akinyemi, has said the United Kingdom’s threat to impose visa ban and other sanctions against politicians who engaged in electoral fraud and anti-democratic acts in the 2023 general elections is just “noise”.

According to the professor, the visa ban threat is ineffective as nobody has ever been sanctioned for breaking electoral laws in Nigeria.

Akinyemi, who stated this while featuring as a guest on Arise Television’s “The Morning Show”, on Friday monitored by Persecondnews, noted that those who are involved in these electoral crimes are those “who have fat bank accounts” abroad.

According to the former minister, they are more interested in keeping those bank accounts than applying these sanctions.

Perseondnews recalls that the United Kingdom had earlier announced that they were compiling a list of those who were involved in the electoral malpractice and violence that took place during the general elections.

The UK added that when the list is completed, they will be implementing a visa ban on the people who are found guilty.

Akinyemi said: “The truth is that anytime we have an election, both the United States and the great Britain raise these prospects of sanctions against those whom they suspect are guilty of malfeasance in seeking to sabotage the democratic process, but then nothing ever happens.

“I cannot remember any person who has been sanctioned with visa denial. They never really apply these sanctions. The reason is because those who they probably know are behind the attempt at derailing the democratic process are those who have fat bank accounts in their countries.

“They are more interested in keeping those bank accounts than applying the sections.

“The ordinary foot soldiers who we all saw carrying guns, cutlass, big sticks etc. on television don’t apply for visas. They don’t go anywhere because they don’t have the money to go anywhere. That is why I think this is all noise.”

Akinyemi, however, noted that the International Criminal Court (ICC) can prosecute the people involved if presented with sufficient evidence to establish cases against them.

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