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Electoral Reform: Nnamani Committee Recommends Independent Candidacy, Electoral Offences Tribunal, Others

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by Kunle Olasanmi, Abuja
The Senator Ken Nnammani- led constitutional and  electoral reform committee has recommended the inclusion of independent candidacy and creation of electoral offences commission.
According to the committee, the inclusion of the provisions is to improve the standard of elections in Nigeria.
The committee’s recommendation was contained in a report it presented to the Federal Government through the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice in Abuja.
A member of the team and the Executive Director, Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre PLAC, Clem Nwankwo, who spoke with LEADERSHIP yesterday after the report was submitted stated that one of the key recommendation of the committee is the setting up of Electoral Offences tribunal.
He said, “One of the key recommendation is the setting up  of Electoral Offences Tribunal which is an area we should look into to end electoral violence in the country.
“The second recommendation is constituency de-limitation. Constituency de-limitation is a constitutional provision but hasn’t happened since 1999 when Nigeria returned to democratic rule. We recommended the use of technology in the electoral process starting from the collation of voters register to minimize the human elements in electoral process as it  relates to manipulation of elections.
“We also recommended the use of technology for the transmission of results of elections other than the use of  the manual way of transmitting results. If technology is used for the transmission of results and it is open to all the political parties, the human elements of manipulation will be reduced.
“May I  add that every system can be manipulated if the people decide to violate the law and that is why we recommended the creation of electoral offences tribunal.
“The committee also recommended the creation of independent candidacy to deal with the issues of political parties who do not respect their laws as regard nomination of candidates for electoral offices,” he stated.
During the presentation of the report, Nnamani noted that the committee had carried out the assignment without any financial backing from the Federal Government, adding that members of the the committee carried out the work using their personal resources.
He, therefore, called on the Federal Government not to forget the payment of the sitting allowance of members of the committee.
The federal government in October 2016 commenced the reform of the country’s electoral laws with the constitution of a constitutional and electoral reforms committee.
The 24-member committee is chaired by former Senate President, Senator Ken Nnamani, while Dr. Mamman Lawal of Bayero University, Kano is the secretary.
Other members of the committee includes  Dr. Muiz Banire, Dr. Clement Nwankwo, Chief A.C Ude and Mr. Tahir, Director, Legal Drafting, Federal Ministry of Justice, amongst others.
The  Committee was expected to review electoral environment, laws and experiences from recent elections conducted in Nigeria and make recommendations to strengthen and achieve the conduct of free and fair elections in Nigeria.



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