By Mayowa Adeniran |
Attorney General of the federation, Abubakar Malami has said thatPresident Muhammadu Buhari will certainly assent the electoral act provided there are no breaches against the constitution.
Malami said at the Citizens town hall meeting on electoral reform organised Yiaga Africa and its partners to address the declining quality of elections and loss of faith in the democratic institutions due to impunity, exclusion and unbridled corruption.
He described the electoral process as a system that is evolving positively, saying that there will always be room for more improvement.
“As at 1999, the system was unpredictable and very chaotic but it is gradually becoming a thing of the past,
Pre-election matters in 1999 can be in court for seven to 10 years. At the moment there are legal frameworks on the conduct of electoral matters. ‘We understand the need for cooperation between the judiciary, legislature, and the executive and we will continue to stress this,’’ he added.
He said the current administration is collectively trying, as much possible, to enhance the quality of the system by way of empowering INEC, building capacity and ensuring that sanity, accountability are brought to bear through legal framework, judicial intervention or executive intervention.
In his own view at the TownHall, Senior Lawyer, Mike Ozekhome, (SAN) said that electoral offenders should be barred from contesting an election for a period of 10 years or above to serve as a deterrent to others.
He also decried what he described as the hijacking of political parties where elected organs within political parties have not been allowed to function effectively.
“Activities of political parties have become transactional saying, those who intend to run must pay huge sums of money, and the delegate system is compromised as well.
“The Executive eventually take partial ownership of the running of party conventions. This gives a leeway for the entire process to be anything but independent”, he said.