The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has sent a strong message to Nigerian politicians ahead of the 2023 general elections.
In a statement on Friday released by its spokesman, Azuka Ogugua, the commission Chairman, Bolaji Owasanoye, warned politicians to desist from sending frivolous petitions against political opponents.
The commission boss also accused some politicians of using anti-corruption and security agencies in order to outdo their rivals and opponents.
Owasanoye stated this on Friday while hosting the leadership of the Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) at the commission’s headquarters.
He, however, said ICPC has an existing understanding with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on how to address genuine electoral petitions when the need arises.
He said: “Usually when the season for competition comes, there is a spike in politically-motivated petitions for wild-goose chases. Some are bold enough to tell you that we should make sure to stop Mr A from contesting and they will bring a petition forward. That is not our job, and we will not get involved. We pack those types of petitions aside basically.
“Even if there is the implication of merit within the complaint, we will say ‘go and compete first’.
“We will not be the one to be used to give you the fair or unfair advantage. When the competition is over, we will decide on the merit or otherwise of what you have brought forward
“We do have an understanding with INEC that in cases where contestants challenge each other in court and the decision says somebody forged a certificate, for example, INEC will send those things to us, and we are prosecuting a few of them at the moment.
“Those are ways we will add value without compromising ourselves or exposing our officers to the compromise and desperation of politicians during the contest.”