Social Democratic Party (SDP) governorship candidate in the last election in Kogi State, Natasha Akpoti has urged the United States Government to extend the visa ban on some election riggers in the State to principal officers of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo in a statement on Monday, imposed visa restriction on some politicians 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 governorship elections respectively.
Reacting, Akpoti who ran against the incumbent governor, Yahaya Bello, said the development validates her claims that the governorship election was rigged.
She had filed a petition at the Supreme Court to challenge the election results but lost.
The apex court held that Akpoti and her party failed to substantiate their claims that the governorship election was rigged.
In a statement on Tuesday, she said: “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.
“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.”