By Ikechukwu Nnochiri
ABUJA—Ahead of the 2019 general election, the Dr. Ken Nnamani-led Constitution and Electoral Reform Committee, CERC, has recommended the unbundling of Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
It also recommended the creation of a new body to be known as Political Parties & Electoral Offences Commission, which would take from INEC the responsibility of regulating political parties as well as monitoring of primary elections.
CERC, which submitted its report to the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, SAN, in two volumes yesterday, said the recommendation was based on an urgent need for the Federal Government to unbundle INEC before the next round of elections.
According to the former Senate President, Dr. Nnamani, attached to the first volume of the report which contained various recommendations on how to improve the electoral process in Nigeria, were four draft bills on amendment of relevant provisions of the Constitution, amendment of the Electoral Act, establishment of Political Parties & Electoral Offences Commission, and establishment of Constituency Delimitation Centre.
Nnamani said the CERC “consulted broadly” before it arrived at the recommendations, even as he lauded the INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu and the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, for their input.
He said the committee had in the course of public hearing it held in all the six geo-political zones in the country, found that electoral malpractices were mostly perpetuated at collation centres which he described as “a place of manipulation”.
He said the CERC made adequate recommendations that when implemented by government, would stop any form of rigging at the collation points.