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AGF canvasses robust electoral system

ABUJA—The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN, has charged members of the Committee on Constitution and Electoral Reform to look into the possible amendments to the Constitution, Electoral Act and other legal instruments concerning elections to facilitate the attainment of a more robust and generally acceptable electoral system.

Special Adviser, Media and Publicity to the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Comrade Salihu Othman Isah, said in a statement yesterday that the Minister gave the charge while inaugurating members of the committee in his office in Abuja on Tuesday.

Isah disclosed that the AGF emphasized that the committee would leverage on their combined wealth of experience to review the electoral environment, relevant laws and also experiences from the recent elections conducted in Nigeria and make recommendations to strengthen and achieve the conduct of free and fair elections in the country.

Abubakar Malami (SAN)  . Photo by Gbemiga Olamikan
Abubakar Malami (SAN) . Photo by Gbemiga Olamikan

He affirmed that it was obligatory on the part of the committee to take a holistic and critical look at the recommendations of Justice Uwais Electoral Reform Committee.

“The committee must consult far and wide, across all spectra of the society and in particular with the National Assembly and the Judiciary in order to make recommendations that would stand the test of times.

“It is our expectation that the committee would turn in a report which dept and quality should resound for years to come and would facilitate the re-engineering of our electoral practice,” he added.

The AGF also stressed that the committee was expected to come up with a draft executive memo for Federal Executive Council vetting, pledging to back it up with a draft Executive Bill that might ultimately place the electoral system on a good pedestal, enough to accommodate progressive reforms in future elections and electoral space.

In his acceptance speech, former Senate President, Senator Ken Nnamani, who is chairman of the committee, said his willingness to serve in the committee was driven by his conviction that Mr. President had the political will to implement its report.

Nnamani promised to work tirelessly with other members to produce a document that would, among others, reduce the tendency of getting electoral victory through the courts other than the ballot boxes.

He, therefore, on behalf of other members expressed gratitude to President Buhari for counting them worthy to play a role in this regards.

Some of the committee’s terms of reference include review of the laws impacting elections in Nigeria, including relevant provisions of the 1999 Constitution(as amended) and the Electoral Act 2012 (as amended) to assess their impact and adequacy for the administration of elections in Nigeria; review and recommendation of jurisdictional mandates of the proposed Electoral Tribunal; and review of recent judicial decisions on election petitions as they related to:conflicting judgments, absence of consequential orders, delays in the issuance of certified true copies of judgments and harmonisation of the Electoral Act, in view of these judgments with a view to enhancing the electoral process.

Others are review of the lessons learnt from the 2015 general elections and recommendations for the improvement of the electoral system; identification and assessment of international best practices on elections and electoral systems relevant to Nigeria’s experience and identification of best practices that would impact positively on the quality and credibility of the nation’s electoral process, among others.

Members of the committee include Dr. Muiz Banire, SAN, Mr. Oluwole Osaze Uzzi, Mrs Babalola O. O., Mr. Duruaku Chima, Mrs. Musa I. Maryam, Mr. H.A Tahir, Mr. Ike Udunni, Ibrahim S. O., Esther Uzoma, Mr. Eze Philip and Bashir Yusuf Ibrahim.

Others are Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi , Mr. Utum Eteng, Mr. Ejike Eze, Chief A.C. Ude, Mrs. E. Ifendu, Dr. Francis Abang Bullen, Mr. Anike Nwoga, Mrs. Cecilia Adams, Mr. Clement Nwankwo, Mr. C. Jude, Mr. Mohammed Bello Tukur, Mrs. Juliet Ibekaku while Dr. Mamman Lawalill serve as Secretary,.


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