Why I agreed to chair FG’s Constitution and Electoral Reform Committee—Ken Nnamani


…Says his committee ‘ll find lasting solution to challenge of inconclusive elections in Nigeria

Former Senate President, Ken Nnamani, on Tuesday disclosed that he agreed to serve as chairman of the newly inaugurated constitutional and electoral committee because he believed that President Muhammadu Buhari had the political will to genuinely put in place an electoral law that would not only stop rigging and discourage mindless killings but also has a burning desire to deepen the country’s democracy and entrench the culture of an enduring electoral system.

Nnamani who spoke in glowing language about the report of Justice Muhammadu Lawal  Uwais-led Electoral Committee said he was sure that the committee did a wonderful work with fantastic recommendations but that he was not too sure if the government of the day then had the political will to implement the report.

He said his committee would study Uwais report very well and find a way of improving on it to ensure that it tackled the new challenge of inconclusive election in Nigeria.

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“The issue of inconclusive election in the country affect national election which leads to loss of lives and the best way to handle it is to stop inconclusive election.

“The best way to stop it in advance is to support the government in implementing what will make Nigeria have a non-violence election,’’ Mr. Nnamani said.

Earlier, the Attorney- General of the Federal and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, had inaugurated the 24-member committee on Constitution and Electoral Reform headed by Dr Nnamani.

The minister, who inaugurated the committee, said he was directed by President Muhammadu Buhari to set it up.

He said that President Buhari had in his inauguration speech stated his desire to deepen the country’s democracy and entrench the culture of an enduring electoral system.

“It is important to evaluate our democratic journey thus far with a view to fashioning out a more enduring system that will serve the present and the future generations,” he said.

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He said recent judicial decisions had shown that there was an urgent need to scale up confidence in the electoral system in Nigeria.

Mr. Malami said that the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Mohammed Mahmoud, had decried the widespread distortion of binding judicial precedent with conflicting judgments

He decried a situation where electoral officials were killed or kidnapped and where politicians made the environment for elections a war theatre.

He said that the committee was expected to look into possible amendments to the Constitution and Electoral Act and come out with a more robust and generally acceptable electoral system.

“The committee is also advised to take a holistic look of the recommendation of Justice Uwais Electoral Reform Committee,” he said.

Mr. Malami advised the committee to consult far and wide, and in particular with National Assembly and judiciary in order to make recommendations that would stand the test of time.

He expressed the hope that the committee would turn in a report which depth and quality that would resound for years to come and would facilitate the re-engineering of the electoral practice.

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He said the terms of reference of the committee were to review recent judicial decisions on election petitions as they relate to conflicting judgments and absence of consequential orders.

Others are review of the laws impacting elections in Nigeria, including relevant provision of the 1999 Constitution and the Electoral Act 2012(as amended).

The Chairman of the committee, a former Senate President, Ken Nnamani, said he was confident that Mr. Buhari would enhance democratic structure  in Nigeria.

The members of the committee are Oluwole Uzzi, O. O. Babalola, Mr Duruaku Chima, Mrs Musa Maryam, H.A Tahir, Ike Udunni, S.O Ibrahim, and Esther Uzoma,

Others include Muiz Banire, Eze Philip, Bashir Ibrahim, Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi, Utum Eteng, Ejike Eze, Mamman Lawal, A.C Ude and E. Ifendu,

The remaining are Francis Bullen, Anike Nwoga, Cecilia Adams, Clement Nwankwo, C. Jude, Mohammed Tukur and Juliet Ibekaku.