ICHEOKU says they did it, deservedly and rightly earned; the boys from Paris. ICHEOKU says congratulations.



ICHEOKU says he is coming with a clear-eyed view of what the United States of America constitution provides and will not legislate from the bench. ICHEOKU says definitely the right pick, so CONFIRM him now and right away and without any delay or much ado. Congratulation.


Lisa Page: “Trump is not ever going to become president, right? Right?!”

Peter Strzok: “No. No he’s not. We’ll stop it.”

ICHEOKU says if this is not corruption of the worst type, what else so qualifies? So sad the length these guys went to truncate the will of the American people; yet they will turn around and accuse other countries of corruption and you wonder is it only when money exchanges hands that there is corruption. Pitifully SAD.


“The only obstruction President Trump committed was in obstructing Queen Crooked Hillary Clinton from the White House.” - Jesse Watters, Watters World.


“The United States no longer makes empty threats. When I make promises, I keep them.” - President Donald John Trump.

ICHEOKU says exactly why he is now fondly nicknamed the Promise Keeper and he keeps his promises, one promise at a time.


America will not be held hostage to nuclear blackmail. We will not allow American cities to be threatened with destruction. And we will not allow a regime that chants “Death to America” to gain access to the most deadly weapons on Earth." - President Donald John Trump.


ICHEOKU says what does the Deep State have on AG Jeff Sessions that has purchased his quiet and inaction over the excesses of the Russian Collusion witch hunt? Something definitely does not look right and apparently seems awry that the Attorney General appears so constricted to do anything to bring the never ending "investigation" to a conclusion. How much longer will the American people wait to have the matter concluded and what will it take. As a member of Team MAGA, from the basket of deplorables, who defended him when the president was threatening to fire him, ICHEOKU is not particularly satisfied with the "playing it safe" attitude which Jeff has adopted thus far and urge him to find any possible way to make the investigators finish their job immediately and without any further delay.


ICHEOKU says he has all it takes to turn Nigeria around and Make Nigeria Great Again. He is highly cerebral; he is well traveled and is highly exposed internationally; he is a doer with a can-do spirit and attitude which translates to impossible is nothing as it does not exists in his dictionary; he is fully accomplished person who turned around the nearly moribund behemoth UBA and created thousands of jobs both in Nigeria and overseas; and above all, he is youthful and has age on his side and you ask yourself, what else is anyone looking for in a leader for Nigeria that is on bended knees and begging for leadership other than a man with his proven record. If he can do this in the private sector, he can also mission accomplish such in the public sector and resuscitate a Nigeria that is in distress. CHEOKU is emphatic that Tony Elumelu is a highly qualified, fit and proper person to lead Nigeria out of its present woods of near comatose and under performing achievements. Lets go to work Nigerians and make his candidature both viable and achievable. We can do this fellas; so lets urge Tony to run, run Tony run and together lets Make Nigeria Great Again. If Trump can do it, so can Tony.


"If the Syria regime uses this poisonous gas again on its people, it will be bombed again. The United States of America is locked and loaded. When our president draws a redline, our president enforces the redline." - Nikki Haley, United States of America Ambassador to the United Nations.



ICHEOKU says Russia's Vladimir Putin has one good opportunity to finally move back into the comity of civilized nations and stop his despotic mentality which always sees him flocking amidst his fellow dictators. But if he choses to remain in the cold and remain in Kremlin where he has been holed in since 1999, too bad. His too long stay in power is only damaging Russia but not helping it; and gradually turning Russia into a third world country where only one man dictates what goes on in the country. Putin, change your ways; let true democracy reign in Russia. Salute



ICHEOKU says you cannot get a more American American and he is a hardcore America First nationalist as they come. President Donald John Trump's pick to succeeded fired National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster is the real deal. He is a hard-nosed American First protagonist, who does not shy away from projecting America's power through strength and who is not afraid to have America go it alone if need be. ICHEOKU says hopefully the president has found the very person who will help him achieve and implement his policy objectives in John Bolton. But as far as MAGA and AF agendas are concerned, Ambassador John Bolton is one heck of a good pick and a right fit for the job. He will help President Donald John Trump with doing his job for the American people. ICHEOKU says congratulations to the Mustachioed One. Let the governance of MAGA now really begin.



ICHEOKU says they pretend to be guardians of free speech but wants to tele-guide other peoples thinking by limiting what they can freely say; especially if you are a conservative and holds opinions which are favorable of President Donald John Trump and critical of Queen Crooked Hillary Clinton. Unfortunately, they will not succeed but can only force people to opt out of the live wasting exercise of gluing one's eyeballs to the platform. An exercise which does not add anything of value to users, nor pays them anything for helping them bring more eyeballs to the portal. Instead of being grateful that people are helping them bilk advertisers of billions of dollars with their riveted eyeballs, they now want to micromanage everyone's thought as if they are doing one a favor by letting them waste their time using Facebook. ICHEOKU says will not be cowered nor intimidated; they can block ICHEOKU all the heck they want but ICHEOKU will not bow to Facebook's attempt to control ICHEOKU's thoughts and would rather permanently part ways with the Mark Zuckerberg globalist weapon of mass control than kowtow to a group thinking. To hell with this attempt to exact undue control and turn everyone into a herd mind.


"There is no allegation in this indictment that any American was a knowing participant in this illegal activity. There is also no allegation in the indictment that the charged conduct altered the outcome of the 2016 election." - Rod Rosenstein, Deputy Attorney General of the United States of America.

ICHEOKU says this determination, for every intent and purpose, now lays to rest the "Collusion with the Russians" hogwash; as nobody can be guilty of an offense which requires awareness to ground when he or she is not aware of it. Collusion is a conspiracy and requires a proactive participation coupled with a guilty knowledge to bring about the purpose of the conspiracy. Therefore, when will the Special Counsel address the nation and tell Americans that there is no there, there, in the Russian Collusion investigation and save America further bleeding both in resources, time and unity. Enough of the sore loser antics of the Democratic Party which does not know how to take a loss and learn to work to fix what went wrong, instead of continuously pointing a finger at a mirage that is the Russian Collusion, in its bid to find something to blame for its ineptitude that led to the epochal loss of November 8th, 2016.


"POTUS WANTS TO KNOW EVERYTHING WE ARE DOING." - Lisa Page to boyfriend Peter Strzok, two FBI officials.

ICHEOKU says the POTUS then was President Barack Hussein Obama, who had previously denied and lied to the American people that he does not dabble into any FBI's investigative matter. Really?



"Americans fill the world with art and music. They push the bounds of science and discovery. And they forever remind us of what we should never ever forget: The people dreamed this country. The people built this country. And it's the people who are making America great again. As long as we are proud of who we are, and what we are fighting for, there is nothing we cannot achieve. As long as we have confidence in our values, faith in our citizens, and trust in our God, we will not fail. Our families will thrive. Our people will prosper. And our Nation will forever be safe and strong and proud and mighty and free." - President Donald John Trump.


ICHEOKU says congratulations to President Donald John Trump for successfully steering America's ship of States for a full year. What the naysayers said will not happen is a reality which they are finding extremely difficult to live with. But their preferences notwithstanding, Make America Great Again is on course and nobody will torpedo it. Once again, congratulations to the leader of Team MAGA on the anniversary of his being sworn in as the 45th POTUS.


ICHEOKU says following an examination of so many nominated individuals, we have determined that this year 2017's man of the year is President Donald John Trump, the 45th President of the United States of America. He came into office shooting on both hips and as the year draws to an end, his both guns are still firing and smoking. For standing up to the world and starring down American detractors and being the cheerleader and champion in chief of America, the leader of Team Make America Great Again has earned ICHEOKU's man of the year award 2017. Congratulations to President Donald John Trump.


ICHEOKU says a wisdom of Solomon come to judgment; it is about time the child is given to the rightful mother. Salute to the courage of President Donald John Trump.


"Together with our allies, America's warriors are prepared to defend our nation using the full range of our unmatched capabilities. No one — no dictator, no regime and no nation — should underestimate, ever, American resolve."



ICHEOKU says Queen Crooked Hillary Clinton was caught pants down colluding with the Russians and she has been trying so hard to pull the wool over the eyes of American people over whodunnit. What a lying, contriving, manipulative woman she is, who lies so easily that you wonder whether truth actually exists in her lexicon. Pitiful.



ICHEOKU says finally the circle is about being completed and American people and the world at large will come to know who in fact did the collusion. Queen Crooked Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Congress paid Fusion GPS to produce the fake Russian dossier which former CIA chief James Clapper said was the basis for the Trump investigation. Yet, the investigation is still ongoing, despite the now established fact that the basis of it was a manufactured phony. But hey, we shall see.

ICHEOKU says still wondering WHAT HAPPENED and the reason 33,000 emails were deleted and bleach washed? Hopefully American people will soon confirm their suspicion that those shouting themselves hoax with Russian Collusion might indeed be the ones who actually colluded with the Russians. So much for the Russian Reset button. Queen Crooked Hillary Clinton, simply too crooked.



ICHEOKU says another lucky one that survived the abortionist's pincers from the over 360,000 unlucky ones that get flushed out each year. May God help us all have a better resolution about unwanted pregnancies.


ICHEOKU says from being disrespectful to the flag to being unappreciative of the services of the military to overall being anti America; NFL players must learn to check their political activism outside the stadiums. They must not kneel on our dime. ICHEOKU supports the president 1000% on this and hereby calls on every player to respect the sensibilities of the many differently opined fans who paid to watch a game and not to be made mad by their personal political agenda.


“The United States Government is strongly committed to Nigeria’s unity. Important political and economic issues affecting the Nigerian people, such as the allocation of resources, are worthwhile topics for respectful debate in a democracy. Within the context of unity, we encourage all Nigerians to support a de-escalation of tensions and peaceful resolution of grievances. The Indigenous People of Biafra is not a terrorist organization under US law.” - Russell Brooks, United States of America.



"When you lose to somebody who has a 40 percent popularity, you don’t blame other things — Comey, Russia — you blame yourself. So what did we do wrong? People didn’t know what we stood for, just that we were against Trump. And still believe that." - Senator Charles Schumer, Senior Senator from the State of New York and Democratic Minority Leader in the Senate. ICHEOKU says the statement spoke volume and it spoke for itself. Finally it seems the Democrats have finally turned the corner and are now ready to face up to their abysmal performance in the last presidential election by acknowledging that the American people indeed choose Trump over their Hillary Clinton. Thankfully, they will also now rest their "Russians Did It" cockamamie and find a message they can present to the people and for the good of the country.. Time to move the process forward is now as American people did not buy into the crap of a Russian collusion which they tried unsuccessfully to sell to them.


"North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States. They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen. As I said, they will be met with the fire and fury and, frankly, power." - President Donald John Trump. ICHEOKU says the Michelin Tire midget at Pyongyang is definitely courting trouble and messing with the wrong man. He probably thinks Barack Obama the redline president is still in office; but unbeknownst to him there is a new sheriff in town and his name is Donald John Trump and he does not mess around. Hopefully China can rein in the little man before he commits mass suicide with his North Korean people.



ICHEOKU says once again the diminutive midget of Pyongyang has been advised to heed the resolution of the United Nations firm stand against his continuing provocations; and that the total wiping out of his North Korea is now an option should he force the hands of the United States of American military. In a statement by the Defense Secretary Jim Maddog Mattis over its latest nuclear test, the secretary said “Our commitment among the allies are ironclad. Any threat to the United States or its territories, including Guam, or our allies will be met with a massive military response, a response both effective and overwhelming. We are not looking to the total annihilation of a country, namely North Korea, but as I said, we have many options to do so.” ICHEOKU says does not really know the joker that guy has, but whatever it is will likely very soon be forced out. The world including ICHEOKU is waiting and watching.


ICHEOKU says the time has come and the time is now for the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra to be allowed to choose their self governance and exit from Nigeria going forward.. A referendum on the future of Biafra is a legitimate demand of the people and it is their right to so do. The people of the Nation of Biafra want to go their own way because of the hostilities from other member nations of Nigeria. Let the United Nations order a referendum and let the people decide their own Biafraexit.


"There can be no coexistence with this violence. There can be no tolerating it, no accepting it, no excusing it, and no ignoring it. Every time a terrorist murders an innocent person and falsely invokes the name of God, it should be an insult to every person of faith. Terrorists do not worship God; they worship death. If we do not act against this organized terror, then we know what will happen and what will be the end result. Terrorism's devastation of life will continue to spread, peaceful societies will become engulfed by violence, and the futures of many generations will be sadly squandered. If we do not stand in uniform condemnation of this killing, then not only will we be judged by our people, not only will we be judged by history, but we will be judged by God." - President Donald John Trump.


ICHEOKU says it is worth fighting for, self determination and it is not a crime for a people to aspire for self governance. Indigenous Peoples of Biafra are marching forward and hopefully they will soon get to the promised land. Viva Biafra.

"When two raging fires meet together, they do consume the thing that feeds their fury. Though little fire grows great with little wind, yet extreme gusts do blow out fire." - William Shakespeare, The Taming of the Shrew


“I reached the pinnacle of success in the business world. In others’ eyes, my life is an epitome of success. However, aside from work, I have little joy. Non-stop pursuing of wealth will only turn a person into a twisted being, just like me. God gave us the senses to let us feel the love in everyone’s heart, not the illusions brought about by wealth. Memories precipitated by love is the only true riches which will follow you, accompany you, giving you strength and light to go on. The most expensive bed in the world is the sick bed. You can employ someone to drive the car for you, make money for you but you cannot have someone to bear sickness for you. Material things lost can be found. But there is one thing that can never be found when it is lost – Life. Treasure Love for your family, love for your spouse, love for your friends. Treat yourself well. Cherish others.” - SJ


"The threat of evil is ever present. We can contain it as long as we stay vigilant, but it can never truly be destroyed. - Lorraine Warren (Annabelle, the movie)


“I’m not that interested in material things. As long as I find a good bed that I can sleep in, that’s enough.” - Nicolas Berggruem, the homeless billionaire.

Sunday, December 14, 2008


Hurray! some men of wisdom have finally acknowledged, that Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida's wondrous gift to the Nigerian electoral process Option A4, was the panacea for the ever crowded Nigeria political arena problems. The former Chief Justice Mohammed Uwais pictured here right, chaired Electoral Reform Committee just recommended exactly what the evil-genius doctor IBB ordered! Option A4, the modified open ballot system which involves a series of party caucuses and voting, progressing from council to state and national levels was accredited with producing Nigeria's first freest and fairest election in 1993. It is now being touted as the best guarantee for future polls that would, once and for all, stop embedded rigging of elections in Nigeria. Icheoku says that the committee would have taken a step further to acknowledge the author of Option A4, Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida, smiling here left in the picture!

The committee also advocated for taking away of the appointment of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Chairman from Aso Rock and handing it over to the National Judicial Council (NJC) which is presided over by the Chief Justice of Nigeria. Such appointment of the INEC Chairman should be confirmed by the Senate and that he/she should not be removed from office except by a two-thirds majority of the Senate. The committee wants funding for the INEC to be by first line charge not subject to the whims and caprices of Aso Rock. This would remove the control of the INEC from the President who could use his powers to fund it to serve his personal political motive. Another recommendation is the creation of an Electoral Offences Commission (EOC), headed by a retired Judge, which will prosecute electoral offenders in the manner financial crime is prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). Also recommended is that results of elections be immediately announced at the polling booths soon after casting and counting of ballots.

Nigerians were unanimous in expressing their concern on the deficiencies and lack of independence of the electoral commissions at both the federal and state levels," Uwais had told him. "Accordingly, we are drawing detailed recommendations to address the focal issues of the composition, the administrative autonomy and funding of the electoral commissions." With the conclusion of the work of the ERC the hope looks bright for free and fair elections, and a transparent Electoral Commission.

Icheoku says that these recommendations were well thought-through and is in tandem with majority of opinions in Nigeria which Icheoku correctly articulated in some of our previous commentaries herein. All that is needed now is the strength of character to issue a white paper on the recommendations; but regrettably, if the recommendations follows a known trend in Nigeria, it might never see the daylight again. Peradventure, Umaru Yar'Adua may want to prove his mettle and Icheoku challenges him to accept and implement the Justice Uwais recommendations as they will truly bring to an end, the trauma which elections has since become in Nigeria.

See also an article/comment titled: !


Anonymous said...

IBB’s Speech to the Electoral Reform Committee on July 22, 2008.

The Chairman,

Electoral Reform Committee.


Electoral Reform and the Party System, Notes for Interactive Discourse Felicitation and Introduction

I wish to express our pleasure and sense of privilege and honour for your coming over here for this interactive discourse. Both the subject matter and purpose of our meeting represent one area of our experience in the rare privilege of governance in our country.

Nigeria is a highly blessed nation by the Almighty, but people and the leaders at any point in history have had to cope and will continue to cope, with daunting challenges. Governance is not easy, neither is it extraordinary difficult. It is the amount and quality of knowledge, focus, sensibility and grasp of the challenges that can make a difference. We believe that there may be no dispute about our knowledge of our country and of our experience in its governance. However, it must be emphasized that the regime, which it was our privilege to lead, was one of dictatorship. Nonetheless, that regime was driven by vision of history of our people and of political challenges. Accordingly, the regime had a mission to create the necessary institutions, structures, processes and environment for a much better system of government to exist. The regime had a “controlled environment” by the fact of military dictatorship, yet if possessed a clear purpose with observance of basic freedoms and human rights as well as the consciousness to maintain the country’s federal society and federal system of government. It also established the policy basis and structures for a new and better national economy from day one that was inherited. The same thing can be said about country’s foreign policy and international relations.

We are engaged in this discuss in, and for a different governance regime from the one we utilized for the country. There may be defects in the present constitution but the country is being governed under a constitutional regime, democracy and federation. The present ruling class cannot tamper with the system arbitrarily even if with noble causes as it is possible under the military. There is a lot to inform us about our past, but we cannot lose consciousness about the limitations of democracy and constitutional government.

Reflections and Suggestions:

Against the preceding introductions, we wish to draw attention to some lessons and make suggestions, which may be of use in your deliberations.

Imperative of the Environment of Elections: Aside from the cancellation of the result of the June 12, 1993 Presidential Election which is not the subject matter of this discourse, you are likely to agree with us that the elections conducted under my watch between 1989 and 1992 were generally free, fair, acceptable and credible. One of the many success factors of those elections is the environment. The environment, which we utilized for the elections under our regime, may be described as one of “guided democracy.” There is another element in that environment, namely the absence of undue partisanship. It is common knowledge that power incumbency or the power system is always interested in succession elections. But this element is more apparent and brazen under governments of elected rulers. It is therefore easy to understand why elections conducted by the military when they are exiting from power have been much freer and more credible than elections conducted by Nigerians when the rulers are members of one political party. The problem, which this factor poses in how, the credibility of the national framework and of the role of elections in sustaining proper democracy can be guaranteed through succession elections by politician rulers.

We have raised this important issue of environment of elections so that you may wish, after this deliberation; bring into your recommendations the need to sanitize the environment of elections (I will return to this element again below).

We hear these days about the need to return to what, under our watch, we called ‘Modified Open Ballot System’ in elections. This is simply a big phrase for Secret Ballot. We still believe that Nigeria should continue with the Secret Ballot (or Modified Open Ballot System). But this can succeed only if the environment of elections is properly sanitized. This observation and suggestion applies to what we called ‘Option A4’, particularly for party primaries. We believe ‘Option A4’ is good again only if the environment is sanitized. Today in large sections of the country, the use of dangerous weapons including sophisticated arms and ammunitions have become commonplace spectacles. If the environment is not sanitized, any criminally minded fanatic or thug or even those who see every election as the ‘last election’ (what some people call “do or die election”), the venue of conducting party primaries or actual elections can easily be disrupted by the use of guns or any other weapons of threat to life.

The issue of how to fully harness and use the people’s ballot or vote came up for discussion during our regime. This is whether we should continue the ‘first-pass-the-post’; or to adopt proportional representation in which the contesting political parties can be allocated seats in the legislature or in the executive, which are proportional to the votes obtained by them at elections. The fear, to which we subscribe, is that proportional representation may even provide tensed and fractious environment of quarrel and hostility in the calculations of fractions of the vote involved. We therefore subscribe to what has been with us ‘first-pass-the-post’ in winning elections.

We think the emerging factor of staggered election is good for the system. The logistics, security and other items of elections, which create tensions in the one general election, may be reduced. We are therefore persuaded that elections should be staggered whether according to the present geopolitical zones or any permutations and arrangement which makes it easier for elections to be conducted with adequate and concentrated attention of local, national and even international interests. Incidentally, the valuable decisions of the Supreme Court in recent times will now make if possible for elections in many states to be conducted only in those states that have duly completed their stipulated tenures after the re-run elections.

On Election Management Body

Two issues strike me about the body or institution, which manages elections. We recall clearly the work of the Political Bureau (1987) and its recommendations. We deliberately called the body then National Electoral Commission (NEC) as different from Federal Electoral Commission (FEDECO) to emphasize the national nature and character of its responsibilities and mandate.

Here, we may recall the historic contention and tension between the structures and values of unity on the one hand, and those of our federal society or diversity or the other. These structures and values were basic to the reforms of the political process and governance during the regime under our watch.

Incidentally, the regime of Gen. Sani Abacha also retained the same focus and called the body NECON. The same has been carried forward to the fourth Republic. While the present body is also described ‘Independent’ we operated even within the limits of our military regime the “independence” of NEC.

The issue of interest is whether this body should be the only one under the system of federalism to conduct elections for the national executive and legislative branches, state executive and legislative branches and local government executive and legislative branches; or whether in compliance with the principles of federalism there should be two bodies as we have in the 1999 Constitution or indeed we should have three bodies each to be national, state and local government elections.

Whichever framework is adopted, we need to bear in mind that there are advantages and disadvantages. The Nigerian Nation and the Democracy Project are still being forged. We need therefore to cultivate a sense of balance between institutions that have national focus and those that have state and local government bearings in obedience to the Nigerian federal society.

Our reflection since 1993 is to allow federalism much more space in the politics and governance of our country without the tendency for undue nationalization of the political process. There is nothing wrong if the Election Management Body can be organized for national elections, state elections and local government elections independent of one another, provided however that the implications for fairness, mutual interest rather than destructive partisanship are borne in mind.

The second issue is the composition of the Election Management Body. We adopted during our time – and this has been followed up today – the minimum number of national commissioners under a Chairman. We are aware, as we were then, that the commissioners could be selected to reflect the states (and this was what FEDECO was) or to reflect membership of the political parties. In the case of the last suggestion, it can be most difficult to deal with fifty political parties.

We suggest that the composition of the Election Management Body should continue to be by a carefully selected number of Nigerian men and women who appear not to be too partisan and possessing credible antecedents of either public or private services to Nigeria. Such composition can be undertaken at the national, state and local government levels as we have just suggested.

On the Political Party System:

The issues here are many. One is that of the number of political parties. In obedience to the constitutional provisions and of course, the expectations of democracy, we can allow the free flow of the formation of political parties without any limitation on the number. This is quite attractive particularly in the possibility that a small political party with credible ideologies and commitment can grow over time if it is continuously funded to become formidable political party.

But like many other aspects of our society, the free flow of party formation can easily create chaos. We know that some political parties as registered today have no existence beyond the registration certificates in the pockets of their owners. They are like the ownership of petrol stations, which have business when there is fuel and no business when there is no fuel. In the case of the political parties, they are even aided by the constitutional requirements, which compel INEC to regularly provide them “free fund.”

Can we not continue even in the face of democracy to regulate the formation of political parties? Our feelings are that, perhaps unlike what we did under military rule in 1989, there should be a process of each election (national, state nor local elections) with stipulations which political parties should meet failure of which they can be weeded out from the system or be ‘de-registered.’

There is the issue of internal democracy of the political parties. This is a huge problem. But how can we have internal democracy within the parties when the national political process is not really democratized. It is well known that just as party primaries are captured by individuals in power and money, so also the national political process with reference to elections are captured by individuals with money and other non democratic resources.

We have in my mind what everybody calls political godfathers and godmothers or garrison commanders within the political process. It is a matter, which your Panel will have to deal with. We have only raised the issue because there is logical relationship between lack of democracy in the political process and lack of democracy in the political parties.

The last issues are those of transparency and funding of the political parties. Like internal democracy, these issues are products of the political process. We enjoin you, therefore, to deliberate on the intricacies and dialectics of how the reform of the political process and elections can be made to positively impact on the reform of the internal operations of the political parties.


I thank all of you for coming. I wish you success in the discharge of the responsibilities of your assignment.

General Ibrahim B. Babangida GCFR, Mni.

Anonymous said...

Yar'Adua Lacks Legitimacy To Implement Uwais Committee Report - Balarabe Musa
By Daniel Kanu Senior Correspondent, Lagos

President Umaru Yar'Adua lacks the moral stamina and legitimacy to implement the recommendations of the Electoral Reform Committee (ERC), Balarabe Musa has said.

Musa, Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP) chairman, said Yar'Adua's administration would not produce credible elections whether or not it implements the Option A4 recommended by the ERC, chaired by retired Justice Muhammadu Uwais and peopled by distinguished Nigerians.

Option A4, also called the Modified Open Ballot system, is reputed to have produced Nigeria's most credible election held on June 12, 1993, which late Moshood Abiola of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) won.

Musa said that the present government lacked the legitimacy to produce a free and fair election and that what was needed was a change of the government itself.

"I am sure that this Option A4 that is recommended by the ERC cannot produce a credible election under this government. What we rather need is a change of this government, a fundamental change that will produce the government that will guarantee hope," Musa said.

"What they are doing now is a waste of time. It is not the system of election that matters now. The issue now is how can we have an election, but this system cannot conduct that election. We have to wait for that government that will conduct the election to emerge first."

Musa, former governor of old Kaduna State, said Nigerians must begin to insist that the right processes are followed in terms of producing leadership and reject unconstitutional and unjust actions.

He stressed the need for a focused leader that has the mandate of all Nigerians, insisting that any government that has credibility crisis has no reason to expect the people's support.

"I have said it at different fora that this government is just buying time; there is nothing that they have to offer. We need a radical change, a radical transformation that will usher in a government of the people, one that will attend to the needs of the citizenry," Musa asserted.

On Thursday, Yar'Adua received the report of the 20-man panel and pledged to ensure Nigeria has free and fair and credible polls in the future, with the committee insisting that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) lacks the independence so vital to guarantee a transparent election.

Yar'Adua promised that the government would ensure that the recommendations are fully implemented, in order to guarantee credible elections.

"Our focus on the electoral reform is predicated on the belief that elections are the very heart of democracy," he stressed, "hence they must not only be fair but they must also be seen to be so by our people and the rest of the world.

"We will carefully study and implement with the support of the National Assembly those recommendations that will guarantee popular participation, ensure fairness and justice, and bring credibility to the electoral process in Nigeria.

Anonymous said...

Yar’Adua may lose power to appoint INEC chairman, IG
By Musikilu Mojeed
Published: Monday, 15 Dec 2008
President Umaru Yar’Adua and his successors may lose some of their executive powers going by fresh facts in the report of the presidential panel on electoral reform submitted to him last week.

Skip to next paragraph

Photo file
President Umaru Yar‘Adua

The panel, which was chaired by a former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Muhammadu Uwais, recommended that Nigerian Presidents be stripped of powers to appoint the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission.

It also suggested a modification to the way in which the Inspector-General of Police was appointed and supervised.

Yar’Adua, while receiving the report on Thursday, promised its full implementation as part of his administration’s commitment to break with the past on the conduct of elections in the country.

The panel, in the 297-page report obtained by our correspondent in Abuja on Sunday, said the existing method of appointing the INEC chairman and the IG was at the heart of Nigeria’s persistent electoral crises.

It, therefore, suggested that the power to appoint the INEC boss should be vested in the National Judicial Council so as to eliminate Executive meddlesomeness in the activities of the electoral body.

The committee believes that to safeguard the independence of the electoral commission, the NJC should be empowered to advertise and shortlist candidates for the proposed 13-member INEC.

Furthermore, the panel said Section 84 of the 1999 Constitution should be amended to read, “The election expenditure and the recurrent expenditure of INEC officers (in addition to the salaries and allowances of the chairman and other members) shall be First Charge on the Consolidated Revenue of the Federation.”

Under the constitution, the INEC chairman is appointed by the President subject to the confirmation of the Senate, while the IG is also appointed by the President based on the advice of the Nigerian Police Council.

By the new membership composition proposed by the panel, the electoral commission would comprise a chairman and deputy chairman (one of which must be a woman) nominated by the general public but shortlisted by the NJC and six commissioners representing the six geo-political zones but shortlisted by the NJC after nominations by the public.

Others are one nominee of civil society organisations working in the area of elections, one nominee of labour organisations, one nominee of the Nigerian Bar Association, one nominee of women organisations and one nominee of the media.

The report added that once appointed, no organisation shall have the power to recall its nominee.

The NJC, according to the panel, should be made to advertise the positions of the INEC chairman, his deputy and those of six other commissioners whom, it said, should come from the each of the six geo-political zones.

In detailing the nomination and appointment process of the INEC boss and other members of the commission, the committe stated as follows:

“ For the INEC chairman, vice-chairman and six commissioners representing each of the six geopolitical zones, the National Judicial Council should:

- Advertise all the positions, spelling out requisite qualifications;

- Receive applications/nominations from the general public;

- Shortlist three persons for each position; and

- Send nomination to the National Council of State to select one from the shortlist and forward the name to the Senate for clearance.

“For the nominee of civil society working in the area of elections, one nominee of labour organisations, one nominee of the NBA, one nominee of women organisations and one nominee of the media.

“Each of the professional bodies should send three nominations to the NJC which shall screen them and make appropriate recommendations to the NCS. The council of state shall further screen and recommend one name for each category to the Senate for confirmation.

“The chairman and member of the board of INEC may only be removed by the Senate on the recommendation of the NJC by two-thirds majority of the Senate, which shall include 10 members of the minority parties in the Senate,” the report added.

On IG’s appointment, the panel recommended that he or she “should be appointed by the President on the recommendation of the Police Service Commission to the National Police Council, which in turn shall forward the nomination to the Senate for confirmation.

It said, “His or her removal from office should also be by two-thirds votes of the Senate after investigation establishing his or her misconduct.

“The independence of the Police Force should be guaranteed by strengthening its autonomy from control of government of the day. The security of tenure of top police officers and prevention of harassment of police officers on account of professional discharge of their duties should also be guaranteed.

“Provisions of the Police Act which vests the operational control of the Police in the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria are in contravention of the 1999 Constitution. They should, therefore, be amended.”

The 22-man committee had, while submitting the report to Yar’Adua, recommended the adoption of proportional representation, the establishment of Electoral Offences Commission, Political Parties Registration and Regulation Commission and Constituency Delimitation Commission, and the introduction of independent candidacy, among others

Anonymous said...

Afenifere Group Weclcomes Uwais Panel's Recommendations
By Austin Oboh, Snr Reporter, Lagos

Newly formed Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere Renewal Group (ARG), has commended the Justice Mohammed Uwais-led electoral reform panel for its far-reaching recommendations.

ARG was particularly elated by the proposed proportional representation which it said would remove the winner-takes-all syndrome.

It noted that the system currently being practised encourages political desperation among politicians.

The group's Director of Publicity, Yinka Odumakin, expressed this opinion in an interview with Daily Independent in Lagos at the weekend.

"We should commend the Uwais panel for coming up with far reaching and profound recommendations in line with the views Nigerians have already expressed.

"Proportional representation will remove the winner-takes-it-all syndrome that has stretched our electoral system to its limits and turned the nation's politics to a do-or-die affair.

"Proportional representation will bring about more cohesion and a greater sense of belonging."

Odumakin, who also commended the recommendation for independent candidacy, judiciary and electoral head, warned that the recommendations should not be tampered.

He noted that the crucial question concerning the proposals was whether the authorities could summon the courage to implement them.

"Let us hope that the political will to implement this decision will be there, and that there would be no chances created to remove some of these far-reaching recommendations," he said.

The panel headed released its report to President Umaru Yar'Adua last Thursday and made drastic recommendations, including the setting up of an electoral offences commission.

Anonymous said...

EXCLUSIVE: The Electoral Reform Committee Report
Written by Jide Ajani,
Friday, 12 December 2008
At the end of its sittings which lasted 16 months, Vanguard can reveal that a total of 1466 memoranda were submitted to the Mohammed Lawal Uwais Electoral Reform Committee – and this is authoritative.
Also Vanguard can disclose that 907 presentations were made to members of the committee. Vanguard was also made to understand that the members of the Committee carried out their assignment with a very high sense of patriotism as they saved a huge amount of foreign exchange for Nigeria.
This is the culmination of Vanguard’s careful monitoring of the activities of the Committee across the country.

The Committee will today submit its report to President Umar Musa Yar’Adua at the Aso Rock Presidential Villa, Abuja,

The Electoral Reform Committee, which was given all of 12 months to complete its assignment, sought and got an extension from President Yar’Adua at the end of August this year.

UwaisInaugurated on August 28, 2007 to “examine the entire electoral process with a view to ensuring that we raise the quality and standard of our general elections and thereby deepen our democracy”, the committee got an extension from September to December.

The 22-member Committee held public hearings in two capital cities in each of the six geo-political zones of the federation.

As the Uwais Committee was carrying out its assignment, Vanguard also discovered that the Committee consulted widely with individuals, institutions and governments.

In fact, past Heads of State and Presidents were also consulted.

The reason for this level of wide consultations, Vanguard was reliably informed by a source very close

The Committee benefited from the experience of experts from the following countries Ghana, India, Canada, Mexico, South Africa, Lesotho Botswana, Cameroun, France Niger Republic and Cote D’Ivoire

The report of the committee is structured into six volumes

Volume I: Main Report

Volume II: Memoranda (21 Parts)

Volume III: Analysis of Public Hearings

Volume IV: Verbatim Reports of Public Hearings

Volume V: Reports of retreats (2 Parts)

Volume VI: Appendices

*Independent candidacy recommended

*No cross-carpeting under any circumstances

*Additional 108 seats for House of Reps

*Open Secret Ballot retained

*SIECs to go *INEC to be unbundled

*Electronic voting recommended

*INEC Chairman, Deputy to be of different gender

*Number of parties to be drastically reduced

*Political Parties Registration and Regulatory Commission coming

Executive summary:

(a) Degeneration of Electoral Outcomes

The 85-year-old history of Nigeria’s elections shows a progressive degeneration of outcomes. Thus, the 2007 elections are believed to be the worst since the first elections held in 1922. The compelling need to embark on electoral reforms is thus obvious.

(b) Role of Politicians and their Perception of Power.

The history also shows that elections conducted by the military tended to be more credible than those conducted by civilian authorities. The primary reason for this has been the effort by politicians to perpetuate their hold on power at all cost. Over the years, the politicians have become more desperate and daring in taking and retaining political power; more reckless and greedy in their use and abuse of power; and more intolerant of opposition, criticism and efforts at replacing them. The electorates, seeing their hopes dashed with each set of elections, have come to believe that politicians lack the will to use state power to transform the lives of ordinary citizens. This loss of confidence in governments by the electorate is a threat to our democratic project.

(c) Expectations of Nigerians.

Historical evidence shows that Nigerians have always had very high expectations from their intercourse with politics and democracy. However, these expectations have, more often than not, been dashed as politicians and political office holders seem to have less faith in properly conducted elections as a foundation for democratic governance than the electorate. Arising from the above, the electorates have become more vocal in their demand for positive action that will sanitize the electoral process.

Using non_governmental and faith_based platforms as well as corporate and professional associations, a growing network or coalition of forces has emerged aimed at checking some of the excesses of the political class. This trend should be encouraged as the vigilance of the populace is the greatest insurance for good governance.

(d) Role of Election Management Bodies and Other Agencies

A review of the history of elections in Nigeria shows that a strong relationship exists between Election Management Bodies (EMBs), security agencies and legal provisions that guide the conduct of elections.

These institutional arrangements have over the years become the focal points at which elections are compromised. In the past 50 years, the country’s EMBs have functioned for only 30 years and have been reconstituted five times and had eleven different Chief Executives, giving an average of 2.7 years tenure.

The Committee’s review also shows that the EMBs have been overburdened with too many responsibilities which has affected their performance. The historical analysis shows clearly that there is the need to reform aspects of the 1999 Constitution as well as the existing electoral laws, where they are inadequate or insufficient to guarantee the conduct of free, fair, credible and acceptable elections. An important target of such review should be the provisions for the appointment, membership, mandate, and funding of election management bodies as well as the roles of the security and other agencies.

(e) Conflicts over Electoral Outcomes

Historical evidence confirms that most political actors have often electoral outcomes. From the first election petitions of the 1950’s to date, the judiciary has always provided a last port of call when out_of_court settlements could not resolve post election challenges. While the courts have discharged this important responsibility creditably, care should be taken not to drag the judiciary into the political arena too often as this can affect their credibility.

(f) Civic and Political Education

The historical review shows clearly that there is the compelling need for massive investment in the institutionalisation of broad based civic, moral and political education of Nigerians, politicians as well as the electorate, to inculcate norms, values and the fear of God necessary for the proper conduct of elections and a culture of service and stewardship in the system.

The pre-colonial emphasis on honesty and integrity, as well as balance between power and authority, on the one hand, and service, accountability and responsibility, on the other, should be restored and institutionalised in the political system. It is important that the teaching of civic and political education grounded in Nigerian history should be made compulsory at the primary and secondary school levels. A people, largely ignorant of their past cannot defend their present and future.

(g) Poverty and Corruption

Poverty and corruption have been shown in this analysis to undermine democratic ethos and practice. Poverty breeds corruption and both undermine and threaten the foundations of democratic institutions and frustrate the will of the people expressed in elections. Accordingly, the efforts to fight poverty and corruption should be intensified.

(h) Welfare of Nigerians

There is urgent need to reform and transform the Niger/an economy so as to improve the we/fare and well-being of Nigerians and thus restore their confidence in government. Good governance, economic empowerment of the people and accountability must remain the yardstick for measuring the success of governments. When Nigerians are economically empowered, they will be better able to defend democracy especially when threatened by blundering politicians.

(i) Inclusiveness

One of the major problems of our electoral system over the years has been the near exclusion of critical sectors of the population such as women from governance. There is urgent need to evolve an electoral system which ensures that while elections are free, fair and acceptable, all major stakeholders in the electoral process, especially the political parties that perform creditably, women and other interest groups, are not sidelined in the emerging governments.

(j) Tenure and Incumbency

Incumbency and self succession have been shown in the analysis to be major factors in the corruption of the electoral processes and the violence that always features in elections. The new electoral system should thus aim at either eliminating both or reducing their impact to the barest minimum. This may require amendments of the 1999 Constitution and the Electoral Act 2006.

(k) Military Interventions.

The military, from this analysis, always intervened when the institutions of democratic governance had broken down or the nation was facing possible disintegration. Therefore, the new political system, in its manner of operation, must be such as to make military intervention in governance and politics unnecessary and unattractive. New laws are needed to curb the mounting and increasing impunity with which politicians have breached existing electoral laws. It is significant to note that despite the well documented acts of electoral malpractices, no Nigerian has ever been convicted and punished for electoral offences since independence.

(I) Civil Society.

Our analysis shows that civil society, especially the media and labour unions, have played an important role in the agitation for the expansion of political space for Nigerians and in monitoring the performance of governments. Civil Society then should be empowered legally to enable them effectively discharge their functions as sentinels and watchdogs of democracy.

(m) Multi-Party System.

We should review the inherited multi-party political system, especially given the performance of the existing fifty (50) parties which has tended to push the country towards becoming a one party state. The views expressed by Nigerians during the public hearings were overwhelmingly in favour of reducing the number of political parties to between two and seven. It is not a mere coincidence that the relatively freest elections in Nigeria were those conducted under the two party systems between 1989 and 1993.


From the examination of the role of institutions, agencies and stakeholders in the electoral process, the following recommendations are made:


a) The National Assembly should undertake a comprehensive review of the provisions of 1999 Constitution, Electoral Act 2006 and other laws to effect changes that are required to ensure free and fair elections as recommended in this Report.

b) The National Assembly should review laws relating to appointment and qualifications of the Chairman and members of the Electoral Commission,

c) The National Assembly should amend the 1999 Constitution to provide for the appropriation of funds for INEC in a manner that will guarantee its independence. In this respect, the funding of INEC should be first-charge on the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation.


a) The 1999 Constitution should be amended to guarantee the independence of INEC.

b) The agencies under the Executive that are involved in elections shall not be used to undermine free and fair elections. Such agencies include the security bodies and the public service.

c) The provisions of Electoral Act 2006 which prohibit the abuse of the powers of incumbency, including the misuse of official powers and resources should be strengthened and enforced.


Determination of Election Petitions

a) The judiciary should ensure prompt resolution of election-related disputes by increasing the number of election petition tribunals and consolidating petitions.

b) The Electoral Act 2006 should be amended to shift the burden of proof from the petitioners to (NEC to show, on the balance of probability, that disputed elections were indeed free and fair and candidates declared winners were truly the choices of the electorate.

c) There is the need to re-examine the procedure for producing evidence before tribunals in order to speed up the hearing of electoral cases. Specific procedure rules should be made for election petitions.


Re-organisation of INEC

a) INEC should be re-organized and re-positioned to ensure its independence and professionalism in the conduct of elections in the country.

b) The 1999 Constitution should be amended to ensure that INEC becomes truly independent, non-partisan, impartial, professional, transparent, and reliable as an institution and in the performance of its constitutional functions.

c) INEC should consist of:

i) A Board that formulates broad electoral policy and direction for the Commission; and

ii) A professional/technical election management team to handle the actual conduct of elections

Composition of INEC Board

The membership of the Board of INEC should consist of the following:

a) Chairman -who must be a person of unquestionable integrity.

b) Deputy Chairman who must be a person of unquestionable integrity. However, the Chairman and Deputy must not be of the same gender.

c) persons of unquestionable integrity, 2 of whom must be women and 1 of whom must come from each of the six geo-political zones of the Federation.

d) 1 nominee of Civil Society Organizations working in the area of elections and accredited by the proposed Political Parties Etc. Registration and Regulatory Commission.

e) 1 nominee of Labour Organizations.

f) 1 nominee of Nigerian Bar Association.

g) 1 nominee of Women Organizations,

h) 1 nominee of the Media.

Once appointed, no organisation shall have the power to recall its nominee.

Qualifications of Members of INEC’s Board

a)Members of INEC’s Board mentioned in (i - ii) above should be persons of integrity who are non-partisan, possess vast professional/administrative/academic experience, and are not less than 50 years of age.

b) Members of INEC’s Board mentioned in (iii _ viii) above should possess all the qualities mentioned in above and they should not be less than 40 years of age.

Nomination Process

a) For (i _ iii) above, the National Judicial Commission should:

Advertise all the positions, spelling out requisite qualifications;

ii. Receive applications/nominations from the general public.

iii. Shortlist three persons for each position;

iv. Send the nominations to the National Council of State to select one from the shortlist and forward to the Senate for confirmation.

b) For (iv-viii) above:

i. Each of the professional bodies should send 3 nominations to the National Judicial Council for screening

ii. The NJC shall screen the nominations and make appropriate recommendations to the National State which shall further screen and recommend one name for each category to the Senate for confirmation.

Tenure of Office

The tenure of office of the members of INEC's Board should be five years subject to renewal for another five years.

Composition of INEC’s Profession/Technical Management Team

a) At the national level INEC's management team should consist of professional/technical/operational officers as follows:

i) A Secretary

ii) Department Directors

b) At the State level, the State Independence Electoral Commission (SIECs) should be re-organised and incorporated within the structure of the INEC to form a single election management body for the country. The State level Secretariat of INEC should therefore consist of 37 Directors of Elections, one for each State and the FCT, appointed by INEC, trained and posted to States other than their States of origin. These Directors should be career officers, and non-partisan persons of integrity.

c) At the Local Government level, full time 774 Local Electoral Officers should be appointed by INEC after public advertisement inviting applications and posted outside their own Local Government Area. At least one-third of these Local Electoral Officers should be women.

d) At the Ward level, full time 8814 career Assistant Electoral Officers should be appointed by INEC after public advertisement inviting applications and posted outside their wards but within the Local Government Area.

Other Recommendations

a) Section 153 of the 1999 Constitution which lists INEC as a federal executive body should be amended by deleting Sub-section 1(f) thereof.

b) As consequential to the recommendation, under paragraph (e) above wherever INEC appears in sections 153 -158, it should be deleted.

Unbundling of INEC

For INEC to function efficiently, some of the functions currently performed by it should be assigned to other agencies as follows:

a). Political Parties, Registration and Regulatory Commission should be established and empowered to:

i) Register political parties in accordance with the provisions of the 1999 Constitution and the Electoral Act 2006.

ii) Monitor the organization and operation of the political parties, including their finances.

iii) Arrange for the annual examination and auditing of the funds and accounts of political parties,

iv) Monitor political campaigns and provide rules and regulations which shall govern the political parties.

v) Accredit domestic civil society groups and organizations working in the area of elections and provide rules and regulations which shall govern their observation of elections;

vi) Accredit international election observers and provide rules and regulations which shall govern their conduct and observation of elections;

vii)Accredit national and international media organizations observing elections and provide rules and regulations which shall govern their activities.

b) An autonomous and constitutionally recognized Electoral Offences Commission should be established through a bill of the National Assembly and empowered to perform the following functions:

i) Enforcement and administration of the provisions of this Act.

ii) Investigation of ail electoral frauds and related offences,

iii) Coordination, enforcement and prosecution of all electoral offences,

iv) Enforcement of the provision of the Electoral Act 2006, the constitutions of registered political parties and any other Acts or enactments,

v) Adoption of measures to identify, trace and prosecute political thuggery, electoral fraud, political terrorism and other electoral offences,

vi) Adoption of measures to prevent and eradicate the commission of electoral malpractices,

vii) Adoption of measures which include but are not limited to coordination, prevention and regulatory actions.

viii) Introduction and maintenance of investigative and control techniques towards the prevention of electoral malpractices and fraudulent election.

ix) The facilitation of rapid exchange of scientific and technical information among other democracies on the conduct of joint operation and training geared towards the eradication of electoral malpractices and fraudulent election.

x) The examination and investigation of all reported cases of electoral offences with the view to identifying electoral officers and staff of the electoral commission, individuals, corporate bodies or groups involved in the commission of electoral offences.

xi) Collaboration with election observing authorities within and outside Nigeria.

c) The composition of the Electoral Offences Commission should be as follows:

i.The Chairman who shall be the Chief Executive Officer and a person of unquestionable character, ii. A Deputy Chairman who shall be a person of unquestionable character,

iii. Six Nigerians of unquestionable character, 1 from each of the six geo-political zones of the Federation,

iv. Attorney-General of the Federation or his nominee not below the rank of a Director. v. Inspector-General of Police or his nominee not below the rank of Assistant Inspector General,

vi. Secretary to the Commission who shall be the head of the administration.

d) The Chairman and members of the Commission who shall be non-partisan shall be appointed by the President subject to the confirmation of the Senate.

e) The Commission shall make standing order regulating its proceedings or those of any of its committees.

f) The Chairman and Deputy Chairman shall be non-partisan persons not below 45 years of age, and the members shall be non-partisan persons not below 40 years of age.

g)The Chairman and Deputy Chairman shall hold office for a period of 5 years term and upon satisfactory performance be re-appointed for another period of 5 years term and no more.

h) Members of the Commission shall hold office for a period of 5 years and upon satisfactory performance be re-appointment for another period of 5 years and no more.

i) The Chairman, Deputy Chairman and Members of the Commission may at any time be removed from office by the President for inability to discharge the function of his/her office (whether arising from infirmity of mind or body or any cause) or for misconduct or acting on the advise of two_thirds majority of the Senate confirming that he/she be so removed for acts inconsistence with the Constitution or this Act.

j) A Constituency Delimitation Commission should be established with institutional representation from INEC, National Population Commission, National Boundary Commission, Office of the Surveyor_General of the Federation, National Bureau of Statistics and National Identity Management Commission.

k) A Centre for Democratic Studies should be established to undertake broad civic and political education for legislators, political office holders, security agencies, politicians, political parties and the general public.

Ensuring Efficient Electoral Administration and Management by INEC

Voter Registration

(a) There should be adequate logistics for a continuous voter registration exercise. Work on the voters’ register needs to continuously update the current level of registration, ensuring that all those persons properly qualified and wanting to be registered have the chance to do so, thus achieving universal suffrage in Nigeria.

(b) INEC should ensure that each polling station has a manageable number of registered voters, at most 500 to avoid congestion and delays in casting and counting votes on polling days.

(c) After the public verification period, INEC should undertake all necessary corrections and again display the voters register at the voter registration centres. Permanent voter registration cards should be issued once the process has been concluded well in advance of election.

Design and Handling of Ballot Papers/Boxes

(a) INEC should ensure that ballot papers have watertight security features and should institute a transparent tracking system.

(b) Ballot boxes should be placed in polling stations away from officials and party agents but in full view of the Presiding Officer.

(c) The security of ballot boxes needs to be improved including the provision of seals and locks.

(d) Ballot papers should be stored and distributed from locations within a reasonable distance of their appropriate polling stations. The desire to protect the sanctity of the ballot should not preclude ballots from reaching their destinations.

e) Ballot materials should be under the protection of security agencies and electoral officials.Political leaders should be prevented from obstructing their distribution.

Polling Booths/Stations.

(a) An accurate list of polling stations, including number of registered voters, should be made available to parties and observers before elections.

(b) NEC should ensure that voting booths, where applicable, are distributed in sufficient time to all polling stations and all polling staff are trained to erect them and fully implement all procedures designed to ensure secrecy of the vote.

(c) INEC should identify all satellite polling stations so that voters will be properly directed to where they will cast their vote.

Distribution of Election Materials

(a) Adequate and timely preparation should be made with respect to election materials and the conduct of elections. The fire brigade approach adopted by INEC in 2007 is unacceptable. It is submitted that preparation for the next election should commence immediately.

(b) INEC should identity its needs early enough and make arrangements for their procurement in good time to avoid logistics problems.

(c) Election materials should be transported to the States early enough to ensure that voting commences at the scheduled time.

(d) Adequate voting materials should be provided to the polling stations so that all eligible voters can exercise their civic rights.

(e) INEC should develop and use suitable hand-over documentation for sensitive polling materials (result forms, ballot boxes, ballot papers etc).

Voting Process and Procedure

(a) The use of electronic voting machines is recommended for future elections but this should be introduced gradually after a period of limited testing and experimentation.

(b) In future elections, accreditation should take place first within a defined time_frame, to be followed by voting within a defined time_frame. Agents of political parties should be given copies of results and have the right to demand a re_count on the spot.

(c) The Electoral Act 2006 should be amended to ensure secrecy of the vote for tendered ballots,

d) INEC and other agencies involved in elections should make necessary information available to the media on time to avoid speculations

Declaration of Results

(a) Contingency plans should be made for alternative power supply to collation centres for instances where it may become necessary for collation to be done in the dark.

(b) INEC should swiftly and publicly display detailed results of the elections, including all polling station results as well as collated information on the number of voters, votes cast, invalid votes etc.

(c) All election results should be announced at the polling stations by the Presiding Officer, duly signed by and copies given to:

i. the accredited agents of the political parties that have entered for that election;

ii. the Police;

iii.the SSS.

(d) Transparency in the results process in particular but also in the general work of INEC should be improved. Results broken down by polling stations should be provided at each superior level. Final published results should be more comprehensive in terms of providing full information on number of voters, votes cast, invalid votes, votes scored etc.

(e) INEC should publish presidential election results down to the lowest level prior to declaring a winner in order to demonstrate that the results are accurate and within expectations. This is very important since without vote analysis, at least at the State level, it is impossible to determine whether all the constitutional requirements for an election have been met.

Stakeholder Meetings and Consultations

There should be closer interactions between INEC and other stakeholders in a bid to build confidence and minimize suspicion and enhance their complimentary roles.

Electoral Officers

(a) INEC should ensure that the manual for election officials should be available in each polling station and is followed closely by the officials.

(b) The stipulated number of INEC staff should be present at each polling station.

(c) INEC should use its Electoral Institute to establish a permanent pool of well trained and qualified electoral trainers to undertake continuous training of INEC staff.

(d) For future elections, INEC should ensure that election officials, including ad_hoc staff are recruited and trained in good time, to ensure a more professional handling of the process.

Ad-Hoc Staff

(a) For its ad_hoc staff to be accountable, INEC should use National Youth Service Corps members and public servants as ad_hoc staff

during elections. The list of ad_hoc staff should be published to enable the public raise objections to those with questionable character or partisan interests.

(b) INEC should design a process of monitoring its ad hoc staff to ensure strict compliance with election guidelines. INEC should also ensure that election materials arrive poling stations on time.

Party Agents

(a) Party Agents should have clear official identification and should receive training regarding their roles and responsibilities.

(b) All agents should be accredited at least 14 days before election and authenticated before the commencement of the election day. Composition and Functions of State Independent Electoral Commissions (SIECs).

It is recommended that the existing SIEC should be reorganized and integrated into the structure of INEC for greater efficiency and autonomy. This will entail constitutional amendment and statutory provisions integrating and coordinating the activities of the State offices of INEC and SIECs for all elections.

The role of political parties

Establishment of the Political Parties Etc Registration and Regulatory Commission

a) Establish a Political Parties Etc Registration and Regulatory Commission which shall be empowered to perform the following functions:

i. Register political parties in accordance with the provisions of the 1999 Constitution and the Electoral Act 2006.

ii. Monitor the organization and operation of the political parties, including their finances,

iii. Arrange for the annual examination and auditing of the funds and accounts of political parties,

iv. Monitor political campaigns and provide rules and regulations which shall govern the activities of political parties,

v. Accredit domestic civil society groups and organizations working in the area of elections and provide rules and regulations which shall govern their observation of elections;

vi. Accredit international election observers and provide rules and regulations which shall govern their observation of elections,

vii. Accredit national and international media organizations observing elections and provide rules and regulations which shall govern their activities,

viii. All the functions listed in section 46, 78 _ 105 of the Electoral Act 2006.

b) The Political Parties Etc Registration and Regulatory Commission shall comprise the following members who should be non_partisan:

i) A Chairman who must be a person of unquestionable integrity,

ii) A Deputy Chairman who must be a person of unquestionable integrity. However, the Chairman and the Deputy must not be of the same gender,

iii) 6 persons of unquestionable integrity, 2 of whom must be women and 1 of whom must come from each of the six geopolitical zones.

c) The mode of appointment of the Chairman and members of the Board of the Political Parties Etc Registration and Regulatory Commission shall be as follows:

i) The National Judicial Council shall advertise the position of the Chairman, Deputy and the 6 National commissioners.

ii) The National Judicial Council shall screen the application received and recommend to the President for appointment subject to confirmation by the Senate.

d) The Tenure of office of members of the Board of Political Parties Etc Registration and Regulatory Commission shall be 5 years renewable only once.

e) The Chairman, Deputy Chairman and Members of the Board shall be removed from office by the President acting on the recommendations of the National Judicial Council that the member be so removed for his/her inability to discharge the functions of his/her office or appointment (whether arising from infirmity of mind or body) or for misconduct or contravention of the Code of Conduct.

f) The Political Parties Etc Registration and Regulatory Commission shall have power to appoint, dismiss, and exercise disciplinary control over its own staff.

g) Sections 221 _ 229 of the 1999 Constitution should be amended to replace all references to (NEC with the Political Parties Etc Registration and Regulatory Commission.

h) Section 15 of the 3rd Schedule to the 1999 Constitution should be amended to reflect the new roles and functions assigned to the Political Parties Etc Registration and Regulatory Commission.

Additional Conditions for Registering Political Parties

In addition to the existing provisions of the 1999 Constitution and the Electoral Act 2006, any political association wishing to be registered as a political party must meet the following additional criteria and other regulations that will be made from time to time by INEC or the Political Parties Etc Registration and Regulatory Commission:

i. The association must maintain functional and verifiable offices in at least two_thirds of the States of the Federation.

ii. The association should maintain 20% women in the membership of all governing bodies.

Independent Candidature.

Independent candidates should be allowed to contest elections under the following conditions:

i. Constituency based nomination by verifiable registered voters in each ward in the cons election.

ii. Payment of financial deposit which will be the independent candidate scores at lea valid votes cast in that election in the cons deposit should be equal to 10% of the expenses for the various offices as provided in Section 93 of the Electoral Act, 2006.

iii. In addition to items (i) and (ii) above, the candidate must meet all other conditions for eligibility stipulated in the Constitution, the Electoral Act or any other laws.

Party Ideologies and Programmes

(a) All political parties should have identifiable ideologies and ideals which shall inform their programmes and the way and manner they intend to operationalise >the fundamental objectives and directive principles of state policy= as contained in Chapter 2 of the 1999 Constitution. In furtherance of the above, parties should be encouraged to establish think tanks at all levels to generate ideas. It is from such ideas that party manifestos are developed.

(b) Encouragement should be given to policy-based, rather than personality-based politics.

(c) Parties should be issue-based and should distinguish themselves from each other based on substantive issues of concern to voters rather than the personalities of their leaders. Parties are encouraged to seek to improve their understanding of voter concerns, address those concerns, and adopt responsive policies into their party platforms and manifestos.

(d) There should be no dual leadership of political parties and primary election into offices should not only be conducted at all levels, but should also be open, monitored and their rules enforced by the electoral bodies.

(e) All political parties participating in elections should send the names, photographs and specimen signature of their polling t agents for appropriate authentication, to any election. Polling agents of the parties should authenticate the result sheets of the election by initialing them prior to the election and counter_sign them after the recording of results of the election.

(f) Only parties contesting elections should have their names, symbols or logos on the ballot paper or electronic voting machine.

Public Funding of Political Parties

(a) Political parties for purposes of transparency and accountability _shall publicly disclose to INEC all sources of funding including donations.

(b) Government should continue to fund political parties either directly or through the Electoral Bodies. The political parties should be encouraged to raise funds of their own through sale of forms to candidates, fund_raising exercises, individual or corporate donations as well as undertaking commercial activities. On donation by individuals for purposes of supporting elections the following ceilings should apply:

(i) President = N20 million

(ii) Governor = N15 million

(iii)Senate = N10 million

(iv)House of Rep s= N5 million

(v)State Houses = N2.5

(vi)Chairmanship of local government = N3 million

(vii)Councillorship =N500,000.00

(c) The funding of political parties should t performance in general elections. After the parties that score a minimum of 2.5 per cent be eligible to receive grants from public funds.

(d) The Political Parties Etc Registration and Reg (PPRRC) should ensure that legal provision party financing and expenditure are fully enl findings published in an open and transparent manner to ensure accountability.

(e) Financing regulations established by the Electoral Act 2006 should be fully enforced by PPRRC. After the submission of annual financial returns by political parties, PPRRC should produce an audit report on the returns which should be made public. The requirement to submit a financial report on campaign expenditures should be enforced.

Jurisdiction of the Courts in Party Matters

(a) Political parties should establish internal machinery for determining nominations of candidates in party elections.

(b) In case of disputes, political parties should exhaust all party machinery available in resolving such disputes before going to court.

(c) Disqualification of candidates fielded for any election should be done on the basis of the provisions of the 1999 Constitution and the electoral law by the Courts.

Enhancing Internal Democracy in the Political Parties

(a) There should be reform of political parties with more insistence on intra_party democracy.

(b) Party conventions, congresses and meetings should be held regularly at all levels and should be free from undue interference. Such party conventions, congresses and meetings should adhere to the scope of their power and authority as entrenched in the party constitution.

(c) Party organs should play active roles in determining who is nominated to contest for positions in the party, appropriate to their levels.

(d) There should be no cross_carpeting under any circumstances.

(e) Given past internal problems concerning nomination of candidates, political parties should develop internal procedures for candidate nomination that are open, transparent, inclusive and democratic and require that those seeking nominations do not use intimidation, violence, bribery or similar unacceptable methods to gain nomination or office.

(f) Reports of Administrative Panels should not be used to disqualify candidates, Section 182(1)(i) of the 1999 Constitution should be amended to allow only Judicial Reports and Tribunals to be so used.

(g) A legal framework should be provided to support justiceability of party nomination. There is no need to expend time and resources on a primary election that will be discarded while courts stand helpless. Section 86 of the 1999 Constitution should be amended to allow a candidate who feels aggrieved in a primary election to go to court.

(h) The nomination process needs to be clarified and rationalised, ensuring that the procedures for nomination; appeals can be properly dealt with according the election, ensuring the timely identification printing of ballots. The law should be clarified to properly, fairly and definitively identify the qualifications for c respective responsibilities with regard to verify eligibility. In this regard, INEC should not adjudicator in such cases, but rather as the decisions by a qualified court.

(i) Political parties should give more attention to the nomination of women and youths as candidates.

(j) Political parties should ensure that women have leadership opportunities within party organizations. To this end, political parties are encouraged to examine party structures and procedures to remove barriers that directly or indirectly discriminate against the participation of women in politics.

Party Supremacy

(a) Only credible and tested party members should emerge as party candidates for elections.

(b) In order to discourage people joining parties solely for the purpose of contesting election, there should be a qualifying period of membership of the party in addition to other criteria.

(c) The party should carry out continuous monitoring of the performance of elected officers in relation to the party’s manifesto.

(d) In order not to undermine the party’s capacity to enforce party supremacy at all levels, no office holder in the party should hold any position in government. Guaranteeing the Survival of Multi_Party Democracy.

(a) There should be a forum of all political parties to assess and evaluate on a regular basis the political situation in the country including the prospect of the survival of the multi_party democracy.

(b) All political parties should respect the right of other parties to exist without being subverted or intimidated in any form.

(c) Political parties should accept the outcomes of free and fair elections.

(d) The Code of Conduct for political parties should not be limited to the party leadership but should be used as a civic education tool to help reduce tensions and prevent or mitigate violence throughout the country. Concerted efforts should be made within each electoral constituency to bring together electoral authorities, political parties, security forces, civil society, religious leaders and traditional leaders to implement the letter and spirit of the code. Women and youth should be actively involved in this effort.

(e) In order to enhance commitments that political parties have made in the Code of Conduct against violence and intimidation and to promote the active participation of women in the electoral processes, the Code of Conduct should include meaningful sanctions in cases of non compliance.

(f) Parties should refrain from all acts of violence and inflammatory rhetoric and should discipline those candidates, representatives or members who encourage or participate in such activities.

(g) All participants in the electoral process (Political Parties, Candidates, and Security Agencies) should obey all the laws governing elections.

The role of security agencies

Nigeria Police Force

a) The roles of each of the various security agencies during elections should be clearly defined.

b) There should also be an effective coordination of the work of the various security agencies during elections.

c) The curricula for the training of the police at all levels (basic/entry, intermediate and command courses) should include modules on democracy, elections, political parties and constitutional/statutory provisions on elections.

d) The independence of the Police Force should be guaranteed by strengthening its autonomy from the control of the government of the day. The security of tenure of top police officers and the prevention of harassment of Police officers on account of professional discharge of their duties should also be guaranteed.

e) The Police Force should be strengthened in the areas of communication, weaponry and transportation for effective mobilization, deployment and enhanced performance.

f) Adequate provisions should be made for the safety, transportation and feeding of all security and law enforcement officials on electoral duties. This will reduce the likelihood of the officials succumbing to temptations from the politicians.

g) The police force should organize training, lectures and workshops for its personnel prior to major elections.

h) Provisions of the Police Act which vest operational control of the Police in the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria are in contravention of the 1999 Constitution. The former should therefore be amended.

i) A Code of Conduct should be issued to police officers involved in election duties. Compliance should be monitored by a team set up by the Police Service Commission consisting of police officers, members of civil society organizations (NBA, human rights NGOs, observers, etc.). Violation of the code should be sanctioned.

j) Considering that there are no less than 120,000 polling stations I throughout the country, the size of the Nigeria Police Force should i be significantly increased from the presence total strength of 371,000 to enable the Police maintain presents at each polling station during elections,

k) The law enforcement agencies should be properly oriented to appreciate the need for neutrality during elections. The Police in particular should be adequately funded and equipped to maintain law and order during elections.

I) The Inspector_General of Police, the Chairman of INEC and other appropriate officials should establish comprehensive and effective measures for providing public security during each stage of the electoral process, from candidate selection, to voter registration, election campaigning, election day and the immediate post election day periods. The public should be informed of the existence of adequate security arrangements.

m) The Nigerian Police Force and other security agencies should give adequate protection to electoral officials and materials as well as voters during elections to prevent criminal gangs from hijacking or tampering with the process.

n) Contact telephone numbers of all supervising police officers in each division should be made public by INEC to enable observers and citizens place calls for assistance and/or re_enforcement as the need arises.

o) The police should not carry weapons when they are on duty at polling stations.

p) The role of security agencies especially the Police who must be posted to the Polling Units and Collation Centres should be limited to keeping law and order. Within the Polling Units and Collation Centres, the Police and personal security of politicians or any person, should not be allowed within the radius of 20 metres of Polling Units and Collation Centres. Security agencies must not be seen to tamper with or have anything to do with election results i or materials.

Armed Forces

a) The armed forces should provide assistance to the electoral body in conveying electoral officials, registration and voting materials, when necessary.

b) The leadership of the armed forces should not make statements that may be seen as intimidation of opposition political parties and the electorate.

c) The armed forces personnel should not be deployed to polling , centres or stations.

d) The armed forces should discontinue acts of psychological 1 warfare, including show of force through patrols in convoys of 1 armoured personnel carriers and lorries, days prior to or on the

eve or day of election, which may be construed as intimidation of opposition parties.

e) The air force may provide assistance in the form of aerial surveillance to assist the police to detect sites of disorder during elections.

f) The Navy may assist in conveying electoral and voter registration materials and officials in difficult or dangerous areas.

g) The Armed Forces may offer assistance to the electoral body and the police force. However, they should be professional and impartial in doing so.

h) Other than exercising their individual rights to vote, members of the Armed Forces should not be involved in the conduct of elections.

i) As Commander_in_Chief of Nigeria’s Armed Forces, the President should take concrete steps to ensure the neutrality of security forces during the election period.

The Role of Other Security Agencies

c) Enact aw strengthening proper oversight of security agencies by the National Assembly.

d) Armed orderlies should not go to polling areas in uniform on election days.

e) Civic education should be intensified so that the personnel of I security agencies can also imbibe democratic culture.

f) The security personnel to be mobilised for elections must be selected or screened through a rigorous process to determine their suitability in terms of value, knowledge, orientation, discipline, competence and integrity. Selected officers should be adequately trained well in advance.

g) An effective coordination of personnel from the different agencies must be ensured in order to enhance efficiency, accountability and discourage impunity.

f) During elections, dignitaries should be restrained from moving about with armed security details, g) In the discharge of their duties, security services should:

(i) Not interfere in the balloting procedures on election day, but should ensure that voters feel safe and are unhindered to exercise their rights and civic responsibility through the ballot box.

(ii) Take al! appropriate measures to curb electoral violence, including ensuring timely deployment of adequately equipped and briefed personnel, and cooperate with other security agencies including the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps.

i) Work cooperatively with other stakeholders to provide proactive, I and impartial policing and to ensure that existing laws are enforced without fear or favour.

j) During elections, security agencies should not be placed under the direction of INEC.


a) Media practitioners should be adequately trained in the provisions of the electoral law so that they can appropriately enlighten the public and be guided by them. The Nigerian Union of Journalists, National Broadcasting Commission, Broadcasting Organisation of

Nigeria, and the Independent National Electoral Commission should conduct such training.

b) The National Broadcasting Commission and the Nigerian Press Council should be strengthened so that they can effectively monitor the activities or programmes of the media to ensure that

they conform to the provisions of the electoral law. Violations should be promptly sanctioned in accordance with the law.

c) The media should intensify its exposure of violations of the electoral laws.

(d) The media should play an advocacy role for dialogue and debate and ask questions of all aspirants on their manifestos and ideologies.

(e) The media should promote politics of ideas and issues, not name_calling or invectives.

(f) The media should act as a buffer against tension created by the political class by presenting the issues as they are, not garnished with embellishment or undue sensationalism.

(g) The media should be able to proactively detect the fault lines in the electoral process before electoral hills develop into electoral mountains.

(h) The media should consistently highlight the things that unite the country, namely national peace, national security, national integration, and ethno_religious tolerance, rather than the things which divide the country.

(i) The media should abide by the Code of Ethics for Nigerian journalists drawn by the Nigerian Press Organisation and the Nigerian Press Council.

(j) A print or electronic medium shall give access and equal opportunity to all political parties or candidates of such political parties and independent candidates:

i. A denial of such access and equal opportunity constitute an offence punishable in the first instance with N1,000,000.00 and on any subsequent violation with a fine of N5,000,000.00; ii. Staff of a radio or television station should not be sanctioned in any manner for giving access or equal opportunity to any registered political party of candidate including independent candidate.

(k) The media should be encouraged to continue its vigorous free debate, while tempering passionate reporting with the need to respect the truth and adhere to international standards of journalistic integrity. Media outlets should act in a non_partisan manner and remember their responsibility to provide the most accurate unbiased information to the genera! public.

(I) The NBC should ensure that publicly funded media allocate equal airtime to political parties and candidates competing in an election in order to ensure equity of coverage for all.

(m) Prior to elections, state media should provide the electorate with an impartial and accurate voter education campaign, aired during peak viewer/listener times, informing voters in detail about the voting process.

(n) The government and other stakeholders should demonstrate genuine commitment to promote press freedom.


(a) The role of religious and traditional leaders in public enlightenment, civic education, voter education and mass participation in the political process should be promoted.

(b) Religious leaders should use their considerable moral authority to speak with one voice and strongly encourage political party leaders to eschew violence and obey the provisions of the Constitution and Electoral Law,

(c) Traditional leaders should be encouraged to be non_partisan and neutral in the political process and to continue to educate their people to actively participate in the electoral process in a peaceful manner.

The role of civil society organisations

a) Electoral legislations should guarantee the participation of civil society at relevant stages of the electoral process, including:

i. monitoring of campaign financing;

ii. monitoring unlawful use of public facilities for election campaigns and electioneering;

iii. monitoring of electoral violence, malpractices, and those behind them and issuing reports on them;

iv. monitor the enforcement of sanctions against persons who have violated the electoral laws;

v. Civil society organizations should continue and expand their broad civic and voter education about the importance of the elections, the voter registration process, and where, when and how to register and to vote.

(b) Civil society organizations interested in election observation should coordinate and cooperate in such endeavours in order to maximize their coverage of the entire process.

(c) Civil society organizations should take advantage of their capabilities to help educate and inform voters on the mechanisms and importance of registering to vote and in the significance of the elections to the consolidation of Nigeria’s young democracy.

(d) Civil society organizations should be encouraged to actively engage in exercising their “watchdog function” and work to hold politicians and political institutions accountable during the electoral process.

(e) The right of domestic observers to observe the entire election process should be guaranteed by law.

(f) The Electoral Act 2006 should be amended to establish a clear procedure, including appropriate criteria, for approval or rejection of an application for accreditation.

(g) Civil society organizations should further improve their capacity to observe the entire electoral process.

The role of international organisations

a) Contributions of international organisations and NGOs should be recognized and utilized for the development of the electoral process in the country.

b) Accreditation of international organisations as observers should be encouraged.

c) Financial and material contributions already received from these organisations should be properly accounted for by INEC to ensure transparency and accountability,

d) INEC should be fully independent and should not collect funds from any international bodies.

The electoral system

Applying a combination of First_Past_The_Post and Modified Proportional Representation for Legislative Elections at the Federal, State and Local Government Levels.

(a) Nigeria should retain the First_Past_The_Post electoral system but should also inject a dose of Proportional Representation based on closed party lists, thus evolving a mixed system.

(b) The First_Past_The_Post system shall continue to be used for all elections in the country, but for elections to the House of Representatives, State Houses of Assembly and Local Government Councils, the mixed system shall be used.

(c) For elections to the House of Representatives, the existing 360 seats would be retained and filled by the First_Past_The_Post system. In addition, 108 additional seats (i.e. 30% of the existing 360 seats in the House of Representatives) will be created and filled through the Proportional Representation system.

(d) The arrangement in (c) above will be replicated in State Assemblies and Local Government Councils throughout the Federation. This implies that in each of these legislatures, additional seats representing 30% of existing ones shall be created and filled through the Proportional Representation system.

(e) Performance of political parties in an election conducted under the mixed system shall be the basis for allocating the Proportional Representation seats. The threshold to be met by parties for sharing the Proportional Representation seats shall be the total number of valid votes cast in the entire First_Past_The_Post election divided by the number of available Proportional Representation seats for that election. This threshold will represent the minimum number of votes a party must win to be allocated a Proportional Representation seat.

(f) Political parties shall nominate for the Proportional Representation election at least 30% female candidates and 2% physically challenged candidates for legislative elections.

(g) If a political party wins up to 70% of the seats in an election conducted under the First_Past_The_Post it should be excluded from benefiting from the Proportional Representation. I

(h) The Electoral Act 2006 should be amended to establish criteria for the production of party lists for the allocation of Proportional Representation seats in a manner that will ensure the inclusion of women and disadvantaged groups.

Proportional Representation and the Under_Representation of Women and other Disadvantage Groups

(a) The Electoral Act 2006 should be amended to ensure that 30% of party lists under the proposed Proportional Representation system are reserved for women and 2% for physically challenged persons, without prejudice to their right to also compete for representation under the First_Past_The_Post system.

(b) Civil society and the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), in close collaboration with the Ministry of Women’s Affairs and the National Commission of Human Rights, should continue their efforts to enhance the participation of women in public life. In particular, a permanent, sustained and effective nationwide grassroots campaign targeting the participation of women as voters and as candidates should be undertaken.

(c) In making appointments of Ministers and Commissioners, special consideration should be given to the female gender.

System of Voting

There are practices associated with the current voting system that are worthy of retention. These are accordingly recommended as follows:

(a) Open Secret Ballot System: This allows a voter to go into a polling booth to mark his ballot in secrecy and drop it in the ballot box in the open.

(b) Provision of fixed polling booths: The use of institutional buildings such as schools, community centres etc which are centrally located, where available, or permanent polling locations should be encouraged.

(c) Accreditation of registered voters prior to the commencement of voting for the purpose of tracking how many people cast their ballot in a polling station.

(d) Display of voter’s register prior to the elections to enable registered voters, political parties, and the electorate generally make claims and objections.

Voter Education

The current system provides for voter education to be undertaken by the Election Management Bodies, civil society and relevant government agencies. This is a positive element that is worthy of retention. There is the need for a sustained campaign of civic and political education to enable the electorate understand the electoral system as well as their rights and obligations in the entire electoral process.

Ensuring a truly Independent Electoral Commission

(a) In terms of qualifications, the Chairman, Deputy Chairman, members of INEC should:

i. Be persons of integrity.

ii. Be non_partisan.

iii. Possess vast professional/administrative/academic experience.

iv. Be not less than 50 years of age for Chairman and Deputy and not less than 40 years for the others.

v. The Chairman and Deputy Chairman should not be of the same gender.

(b) The composition of the membership of the Commission should be reviewed to ensure that the Chairman, Deputy Chairman and other members are non_partisan and have not been registered members of any political party during the preceding five years.

(c) The appointment of the Chairman, Deputy Chairman and members of the Commission should be transparently handled in the following manner. The National Judicial Council should: i. Advertise the positions, spelling out requisite qualifications.

ii. Receive applications/nominations from the general public.

iii. Shortlist three persons for each position.

iv. Send the nominations to the National Council of State to select one of the nominees and forward his/her name to the Senate for confirmation.

(d) Section 153 of the 1999 Constitution which classifies INEC as a federal executive body should be amended by deleting INEC.

(e) The funding of the Commission shall be first charge on the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation.

Ensuring that the electoral process meets international standards

a) Nigeria should ratify the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance