Determined to raise the bar in the conduct of elections in the country, the Inter-Party Advisory Council of Nigeria (IPAC) has set up a committee to look into the quality of elections held by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) over the years.
According to the umbrella of all the political parties in the country, the investigation is necessary because of the various issues often thrown up concerning the integrity of the elections by major stakeholders.
This was part of the resolutions of IPAC leaders in a communique signed by the acting president, Chief Ralph Nwosu; acting general secretary and Chief Adekunle Omo-Aje.
The chairman of the committee is Alhaji San Turaki with a lawyer, Mr Kehinde Edun as secretary.
Reiterating their commitment to the entrenchment of an ethical democratic culture in the politics of the country, the IPAC leaders stated in the communique: “The Council resolved to set up a committee to investigate INEC. This follows the fact that in spite of the huge budgetary allocation to INEC yearly, the election quality and general outcome of all elections in the country remain depressing.
“The outcome and integrity of elections have become subject of unending adjudication in election tribunals across the country, high courts, appeal courts and the Supreme Court at a high cost to the government, political parties and candidates.
“Irrespective of the humongous amount spent on INEC and the goodwill of both local and international agencies, the nation’s judiciary are overstretched with election-related cases to the detriment of all other matters; economy, business, security and governance in the country.”
The committee is also empowered to look into INECs possible interference and culpability of its officials in the internal crisis engulfing parties for many years, as well as the commission’s alleged motives in wanting to control IPAC, just as the leaders approved the plan of action, training modules, conferences, seminars and summits proposed the Nwosu-led CMC.
They also resolved that the leadership of IPAC should continue to work to advance multi-party democracy and respect for rule of law, as well as “ensure that the country did not “fall into a one-party state.”
The leaders also approved the setting up of the State Management Committees (SMC) comprising the last elected members and/or others selected due to capacity to oversee and run the affairs of the Council in each State of the federation and the F.C.T. at the expiration of the current tenures of all State Executives.
According to them, the SMC are to serve for three months and liaise with the national body to conduct elections as appropriate.
Describing as contemptuous, the attitude of the INEC towards the fate of some parties that got a reprieve from court over their deregistration by the commission, the IPAC leaders reaffirmed their “recognition of all 23 political parties whose corporate legal statuses have been restored through various court judgments against INEC.
“They remain bonafide and substantive members of the Council, as well as the 18 parties. The council further resolved to continue to respect judgments of the courts in matters regarding political parties and all others without cherry-picking.”
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