Ade Adesomoju, Abuja
The Ken Nnamani-led Constitution and Electoral Reform Committee, on Tuesday, submitted its report to the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami (SAN).
The report, submitted to the minister at the minister’s office in Abuja, recommended among others, the unbundling of the Independent National Electoral Commission.
It proposed the establishment of new agencies that would handle some of the commission’s tasks.
The panel also made provisions for the participation of independent candidates, Diaspora voting and the use of technology for elections.
Unlike other previous reports on electoral reform, the Nnamani committee did not propose the establishment of the electoral offences tribunal, but rather, recommended the expansion of courts by building more courtrooms and appointing more judges under the existing court system.
Two new agencies, proposed by the Nnamani committee to take up some of INEC’s mandates, are the Political Parties and Electoral Offences Commission and the Constituency Delineation Centre.
While the PPEOC will be concerned with the registration and regulation of political parties as well as prosecution of electoral offenders in the regular courts, the CDC will carry out the delineation of constituencies.
The 23-member committee, which was inaugurated on October 4, 2016, submitted its report to the AGF along with four proposed bills, two of which seek the establishment of the new agencies.
The two other bills seek amendments to relevant parts of the Constitution and the Electoral Act.
All the four bills are expected to be submitted to President Muhammadu Buhari by the AGF for onward transmission to the National Assembly as Executive Bills.
Speaking with some journalists after the event on Tuesday, secretary to the committee, Prof. Mamman Lawan, said the proposal for the establishment of the two new agencies was aimed at “unbundling the INEC to enable the commission to focus on its core mandate”.
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