From Tom Garba, Yola
The National Assembly has been urged to fast-track the amendment of the 1999 Constitution and the Electoral Act 2010.
Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Committee on Management of Election Petitions, Kasim Gaidam, gave the charge on Sunday in Yola, Adamawa State.
Gaidam, in an interview with reporters, said there was the need for the National Assembly to amend the electoral act to enable the commission discharged its responsibility effectively.
Gaidam, who is the former INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner in Adamawa, also recommended the need for the authorities concern to review election petitions timelines.
His words: “For effective service delivery at the INEC, there’s the need for the National Assembly to amend the Electoral Act 2010. The amendment of the act would enable the commission exercise its power and conduct credible elections.”
On the prosecution of electoral offences, the chairman recommended that the power to prosecute offenders should be vested in INEC.
He also canvassed the need of the commission to intensify training of its staff, especially legal officers within and outside the country, to enable them competently handle some of the tribunal and courts cases for the Commission to reduce cost in the medium and long term.
The chairman said the committee recommended 10 years ban for politicians convicted or indicted by the Election Tribunals or courts.
He pointed out that presently, the Commission has about 81 elections nullified and 15 elections over-turned and complained that the development has become a huge challenge to the commission.
He also observed that the report and recommendations of the committee if properly implemented would reduce election petitions and ensure orderliness in election petitions.
Gaidam noted that among the committee recommendations was to ensure that the standard of credibility of elections set during 2015 general elections were not only sustained but surpassed in 2019 and beyond.