The Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN) on Tuesday said the recommendations of the Constitution and Electoral Reform Committee, headed by former Senate President, Dr. Ken Nnamani will guide the Federal Government in preparation of proposals for the amendments of the Constitution for an improved electoral system in the country.
The AGF, who stated this yesterday when he received the final report of the Constitution and Electoral Reform Committee headed by former Senate President, Dr. Ken Nnamani said, the committee made recommendations on how to strengthen the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the participation of independent candidates, the management of political parties and tackling of electoral offences.
“I am happy that the committee took time to draft bills that will impact on relevant provisions of the Constitution, the Electoral Act, Political parties and Electoral Offences Commission and constituency delimitation Center.”
“All of you will recall that it is in furtherance of the commitment of President Muhammadu Buhari towards an effective electoral process in Nigeria that he directed me to set up the Constitution and Electoral Reform Committee (CERC) in order to take a holistic look at the electoral environment and make recommendations on needed reforms.”
According to him, other issues of note that attracted the Committee’s interest are management of electoral dispute resolution and specific legal provisions impacting on electoral process as well as issues affecting the State Independent Electoral Commissions (SIECs), use of technology in elections, diaspora voting and special access for persons with disabilities.
He further explained that the inauguration of the Ken Nnamani’s committee on 4th October, 2016 was the first major step taken towards realizing the goal of the present administration to improve Nigeria’s electoral process and to stop wanton destruction and violence often associated with failure of law enforcement agencies to tackle electoral fraud.
The AGF said President Muhammadu Buhari has appointed and after legislative confirmation, has sworn in INEC Commissioners to enable the Commission carry out its constitutional and statutory mandates and added that the present administration is determined to change the unethical way in which electoral officers have managed elections in the past.
“This government has taken measures to remove all those who collected money to frustrate the 2015 elections, from office. More than 200 INEC officials have been suspended while some are still under investigation or prosecution”, he said.
He assured Nigerians that the Committee’s report and draft bills would be submitted to the President immediately for his consideration and transmission to the National Assembly.
In his remark earlier, former Senate President and chairman of the Constitution and Electoral Reform Committee, Dr. Ken Nnamani said that the Committee is grateful to President Muhammadu Buhari for the opportunity to serve the nation through the Committee.
He also thanked the AGF for the technical and logistical support he provided for the Committee in carrying out its assignment.
The chairman appreciated everyone who contributed immensely for the success of the Committee in carrying out its assignment both in kind assistance and cash provided, especially the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu who personally participated in one of its retreats and shared his wealth of experience in election matters and law making.
Nnamani then presented his Committee’s report in two volumes to the AGF. The first volume contains the main report, containing recommendations on how to improve the electoral process in the country, while the second volume contains minutes of the committee’s meetings, cluster of reports, proceedings of retreats and public hearings and copies of memoranda received.
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