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I am a political scientist by training but at heart I am a change maker with an insatiable drive to correct the injustices that plague Nigeria.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Chronic Abuse, Torture, and Neglect of the Innocent...Courtesy of the Nigerian Government

Chronic Abuse, Torture, and Neglect of the Innocent...Courtesy of the Nigerian Government
Ref: BBC News - Nigerian freed after 15 years awaiting trial

Effiong Elemi-Edu giving interview about his 15 years incarceration

While this story sickens me on a very deep level, the true tragedy is that this is one of countless examples of this type of injustice. Who is responsible for this travesty. Let's start from the beginning. Was this man (or the numerous other individuals arrested with him) allowed the right to speak with an attorney? Was the on-going interegation (which was designed to be physically, mentally, and emotionally abusive) taped? How can the individuals who are responsible for delivering the abuse be allowed to do so? How can those law enforcement officials stand by and watch this occur? Where are the checks and balances in the justice system that uphold the right of individuals to an expedited trial?

This man was humiliated in prison for 15 years. Where is the accountability? Has there been an internal investigaion into who the individuals are that are responsible for this? How are the individuals who assumed that he was guilty without conducting a proper investigation being held accountable? How are we assured that there are no other individuals who are literally rotting in prison while being subjected to grotesque levels of abuse.

This is an outrage! Where is Goodluck Jonathan's comment on this situation? Has he met with and apologized to this individual? What has Goodluck Jonathan done to ensure this never happens again? Why isn't there public outrage over this case? This type of damage will only continue to permeate the Nigerian society unless individuals stand up for what they believe in rather than turning their cheek. While today it may not be someone you know, tomorrow it could be your mother, your brother, your daughter, or even you!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Nigerian INEC Direct Data Capture Machine: An Election Rig Machine?

Nigeria modernize voting system with laptops and other accessories with direct data capture capability. Laptops are not Internet enabled or storing information in a national data bank: See picture below:

World Bank Managing Director, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala registers to vote at a centre in Abuja.
While in theory this is perhaps a relatively decent practice, however, it falls short of the mark.
Compare to voters machine in the US: US diebold-voting-machine below.

While the biometrics will confirm the name the individual gave when registering to doesn't prevent voter fraud. When individuals come to register their citizenship status is not as long as you have registered and completed the biometrics, citizenship doesn't matter. As individuals are coming to register and vote, since it is not a National database in theory an individual can register at several Local Service Centers, LGA. States or Precincts and vote multiple times. While this is one important piece of the puzzle it is not a STAND ALONE METHOD of resolving voter fraud. As a stand alone measure, it does not prevent voter fraud. This is a travesty that Nigerian government dollars are being spent on machines that don't circumvent voter fraud. A better approach would be to have a national database that tracks the identity of all persons in the country. The voter database would be built off of this database. Individuals can only be allowed to vote in their particular Local Government Area of RESIDENCE or Precinct. This will also prevent individuals from voting multiple times. Perhaps Nigeria needs to study the voting processes and systems that are set up in developed countries. Why reinvent the wheel?

Picture of US citizens using the US diebold-voting-machine at the Polling Booth below: