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NLC, civil society advocate electoral crimes commission

Posted by From OLUWOLE AKINBOYEWA, Abuja. on 2008/06/29 | Views: 2391 |

NLC, civil society advocate electoral crimes commission


Nigeriaís labour-civil society coalition is lending its voice to the nationís electoral reform, with a call for the establishment of an autonomous Electoral Crimes Commission (ECC).

Nigeriaís labour-civil society coalition is lending its voice to the nationís electoral reform, with a call for the establishment of an autonomous Electoral Crimes Commission (ECC).

The recommendation due for submission to the Justice Muhammadu Uwais-led Electoral Reform Committee (ERC) in Abuja today canvasses for very stringent rules supporting the arrest, prosecution and punishment for all manners of electoral offences in the country.
The eight-point memorandum, jointly prepared under the aegis of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Civil Society Organisations (CSO) to the committee, was signed by the Congress President, Comrade Abdulwaheed Omar, on behalf of the coalition.

Under the 29-page document, the commission shall be empowered by law to receive complaints, investigate and prosecute offenders; monitor compliance with campaign finance regulations with a view to achieving a truly independent, lasting and incorruptible electoral system.
The coalition is also suggesting that the ECC be headed by a personality, whose standing is not below that of a high court judge or police commissioner, nominated by the National Judicial Council or the Police Service Commission, and the membership drawn from the labour, civil society, Nigerian Bar Association and media.

The memorandum also proposed a chairman of the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC), elected by its national commissioners who shall hold office for a maximum two-term of five years each and have the powers to impeach him.

Other far-reaching recommendations of the coalition include the right of the National Assembly to direct the nomination of the commissioners through their interest groups, their approval based on their representation, namely, three political parties with the highest number of seats in the National Assembly and one member from the labour sector.

Others are a member each representing the civil society, women, professional associations, media, organized private sector and two representatives from the faith-based organizations all subject to competence, integrity, federal character and other provisions as contained in the constitution.
The proposal also include the power of the National Assembly to remove any erring commissioner, the right of an interest group to recall its representative subject to the approval of the National Assembly, the power of the commission to appoint and discipline any erring resident electoral commissioner.
It recommends a funding autonomy from the consolidated account as a measure of freeing the commission from manipulation, reduction of dependency and elimination from reliance on states and local governments for logistics.

The coalition calls for a fully computerised biometric data process to discourage multiple registrations, votersí accreditation and voting both within a defined time frame respectively, the announcement and display of polls results immediately.

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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.