The Attorney- General of the Federal and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami on Tuesday inaugurated a 24-member committee on Constitution and Electoral Reform.
The minister, who inaugurated the committee, said he was directed by President Muhammadu Buhari to set up a committee.
He said that Buhari had in his inauguration speech stated his desire to deepen the country’s democracy and entrench the culture of an enduring electoral system.
“It is important to evaluate our democratic journey thus far with a view to fashioning out a more enduring system that will serve present and future generations,” he said.
He said recent judicial decisions have shown that there is urgent need to scale up confidence in the electoral system in Nigeria.
Malami said that the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Mohammed Mahmoud had decried the widespread distortion of binding judicial precedent with widespread conflicting judgments
He decried a situation where electoral officials were killed or kidnapped and where politicians make the environment for elections a war theatre.
The minister said that this had forced the electoral body to seek extra-security measures to protect their officials, noting that this called for serious introspection and bold legal, legislative and institutional action.
He said that the committee was expected to look into possible amendments to the Constitution and Electoral Act and come out with a more robust and generally acceptable electoral system.
“The committee is also advised to take a holistic look at the recommendation of Justice Uwais Electoral Reform Committee,’’ he said.
Malami advised the committee to consult far and wide, and in particular with National Assembly and judiciary in order to make recommendations that would stand the test of time.
He expressed the hope that the committee would turn in a report which depth and quality would resound for years to come and would facilitate the re-engineering of the electoral practice.
He said the terms of reference of the committee are to review recent judicial decisions on election petitions as they relate to conflicting judgments and absence of consequential orders.
Others are, review of the laws impacting elections in Nigeria, including relevant provision of the 1999 Constitution and the Electoral Act 2012 (as amended); and to access their impact and adequacy for the administration of elections in Nigeria.
The Chairman of the committee, a former Senate President, Senator Ken Nnamani, said he is confident that Buhari would enhance democratic structures in Nigeria
“The issue of inconclusive election in the country affects national election which leads to loss of lives and the best way to handle it is to stop inconclusive election. The best way to stop it in advance is to support the government in implementing what will make Nigeria have a non-violent election,” Nnamani said.
The members of the committee were Oluwole Uzzi, O. O. Babalola, Duruaku Chima, Musa Maryam, H.A Tahir, Ike Udunni, S.O Ibrahim, and Esther Uzoma.
Other are; Dr. Muiz Banire, Eze Philip, Bashir Ibrahim, Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi, Utum Eteng, Ejike Eze, Dr. Mamman Lawal, A.C Ude, E. Ifendu, Dr. Francis Bullen, Anike Nwoga, Cecilia Adams, Clement Nwankwo, C. Jude, Mohammed Tukur and Juliet Ibekaku.