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INEC Chairman, REC Appointments Should be Open Process – Falana

Legal Luminary, Femi Falana has called for a change in the process of appointments of the Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and that of the Residents Electoral Commissioners (RECs) for transparency and credibility in the system.

Falana stressed that if people applied for the office of the INEC chairman and the RECs, the National Assembly should do a thorough screening of the three best candidates before one of them should be announced.

Falana, who is part of a movement for the Electoral and Judicial Reforms that emerged after the Haske Satumari Foundation Annual Colloquium, insisted that if a credible person emerged as INEC chairman through an open process, it will go a long way in the nation’s election credibility.

“In appointing INEC chairman and Residents Electoral Commissioners, the position should be advertised.

“The best three names should be sent to the Senate for screening before announcement,” Falana said.

Falana who said their interest is to ensure that Nigeria gets the best when it comes to election, urged the country to ensure that the Justice Uwais panel report on election should be fully adopted.

“We must go back to the Uwais panel report,” Falana said.

Speaking, the founder of Haske Satumari Foundation, Kudla Satumari, said they are working to ensure that both the electoral act and the constitution provided for full transmission of election results electronically.

“We want electronic transmission of election results to be fully adopted,” Kudla said, adding that the non-transmission of election results electronically has denied many people victory.

Speaking why many lose in court, Kudla said their movement is suggesting that once grounds of an appeal are clear and acceptable, the onus of proof should be shifted to the acclaimed winner.

“While dealing with the principles of evidence, some people only look at the technicalities. So, once you are able to prove your case in the petition, the onus of proof should be shifted to the acclaimed winner,” Kudla said.

On the issue of immunity, Kudla said it should be removed in all political offices adding that their movement is also working on how the constitution and the electoral act would be amended to ensure that only the number of people that voted for a lawmaker is required for a recall process.

“If you are recalling a member, it should be a similar percentage that voted for the person. A simple majority that elected the member should be enough for the recall of the member,” Kudla said while disclosing areas they will be pushing for amendment in the electoral act and the constitution amendment.

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