President Muhammadu Buhari has approved composition of a 24-man Electoral Reform Committee to be chaired by former Senate President, Ken Nnamani.
The committee, whose members are drawn from Civil Society Organisations, academia, legal profession, traditional institutions, as well as former legislators, will be inaugurated tomorrow by Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami.
In a statement through his media aide, Salisu Isah, yesterday, the AGF said the Constitutional/ Electoral Reform Committee was set-up as part of efforts by the administration, “to ensure an electoral process that would meet the global standard and satisfy the desire of the electorate.”
He said the panel would be specifically mandated to re-jig the current electoral process.
“The committee is expected to review the electoral environment, laws and experiences from recent elections conducted in Nigeria and make recommendations to strengthen and achieve the conduct of free and fair elections in Nigeria, the AGF said.
Malami also explained why the president approved the choice of Nnamani as committee chairman.
He said Nnamani’s chairmanship of the committee was with an expectation that he would “bring his wealth of experience to bear on the reform process.”
Nnamani’s deputy is a don from Ado Bayero University, Kano, Dr. Mamman Lawal.
Other members include National Legal Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Dr. Muiz Banire, Dr. Clement Nwankwo, Chief A.C Ude and Mr. Tahir, a director of Legal Drafting in the Ministry of Justice.
Last month, Senate expressed readiness to reform Nigeria’s electoral laws before 2017, ahead of the 2019 general elections.
The upper legislative chamber spoke through chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) committee, Senator Abubakar Kyari.
“We want to give opportunities for people to be familiar with the reforms long before the election. We also want the reforms to be tested before the 2019 general election.”
He maintained that Senate had hoped to test some of the expected reforms during the Edo or the Ondo governorship poll, but regretted that the reforms were not ready yet.
“We were hoping to subject some of the reforms to test during either the Edo or Ondo governorship election, but, it is quite unfortunate that we could not have them ready. We pray to have them ready before the Anambra governorship election.
“We, as a committee, want to finish anything about the reforms before December. We want to make the reforms holistic.
“The Senate committee and that of the House of Representatives have both agreed to finish work on the reforms before December and, then, pass it on for assent. We want everything about the reforms to be concluded two years before the 2019 general election. We are very cautious and do not want what happened last year before the general election when some reforms were introduced two days before the election, to happen again,” Kyari said.