INEC to collaborate with N’ Assembly on review of Electoral Act


INEC ballot box

THERE are indications that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) may collaborate with the National Assembly to facilitate a review of the country’s Electoral Act so as to improve the electoral processes.

The acting Chairman of the Commission, Amina Bala Zakari, gave the indication in Abuja yesterday when she received a delegation of Foreign Defence Attaches accompanied by officials of the Nigerian Defence Intelligence Agency at the INEC headquarters.

Also present during the visit to INEC were the Director of Security, Mallam Shettima Ngiladar and the Director of Human Resources, Musa Adamu, who is the secretary to the Commission.

Zakari said that in the cause of carrying out the Commission’s assignment, INEC had noticed some lapses in some clauses of the Electoral Act, which according to her will require a legal review.

She said the Commission had recommended certain reviews to the parliament, adding that the electoral umpire had also reminded the 8th National Assembly of the need to review those clauses to improve the electoral processes.

“We will continuously try to improve the electoral process through the legal reviews. Election laws are not static, they are dynamic. You have to keep improving on them, especially when something comes up, like the issue of diaspora voting, the issue of electronic voting.

“These are issues that require review and we will keep on recommending to the National Assembly for these reviews,” she said.

The INEC boss listed other challenges confronting the Commission in carrying out its functions to include: election violence, lack of internal democracy among political parties and difficulties in monitoring their election finances.

She said that INEC was already working on necessary measures to mitigate the challenges by introducing modern technologies, including the Permanent Voter Cards to the electoral process in collaboration with necessary stakeholders.

Chief of Defence Intelligence, Air Vice Marshal Monday Morgan, said the foreign attachés were at the Commission in recognition of its roles in national development, especially the promotion of democracy.

Represented by Col. Everest Okoro, Morgan said the visit to INEC by the Defence attaches from United States, France, Sudan, Angola, United Kingdom and Niger among others, was to familiarize themselves with the activities of the electoral umpire.

“We are all aware that we just concluded the last general elations which were internationally and widely acclaimed to be a huge success. It is not surprising that there is a lot of interest to finding out what led to the successes.

“Most of the attachés are from African defence agencies and you know democracy in Africa is something that is just growing. So there are interests to understand how it is done, possibly to pick one or two things which they will take back to their respective countries.’’

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