The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has called for prohibition of defection of lawmakers from one political party to another.
The suggestion was made on Friday November 9 in Abuja at the presentation of its ‘Report of the 2019 General Election’.
The report recommended that “defectors should automatically lose their seats except in the case of merger of two or more parties”, and also called for amendment of the constitution to back the recommendation.
There was also a proposal for the “creation of electoral offences commission and tribunal with powers to arrest, investigate and prosecute electoral offenders; automation of the nomination process to facilitate the storage, access and retrieval of candidates’ data. Sourcing of its ad hoc personnel from its pool of retired staff, delivery of all non-sensitive election materials to states and FCT offices 30 days to any election so as ensure proper audit and quality assurance; need to review the criteria for recruiting collation officers and returning officers”.
INEC Chairman, Yakubu Mahmood noted that some of the recommendations either require administrative action by the commission or amendments to the existing electoral legal framework by the national assembly.
“Some of the recommendations that require administrative action by INEC are already being implemented resulting in improved management of the electoral process as seen in the recent off-cycle Governorship elections in Edo and Ondo States.
“We are similarly engaging with the National Assembly on aspects of the recommendations that require legislative action.
“It is my hope that making the two reports public will promote a better understanding of the issues and challenges associated with the conduct of the 2019 General Election and as important resource materials for research.
“It is my hope that it will serve as the promotion of a broader national discourse on the necessary reforms required for the continued delivery of peaceful, free, fair, credible, inclusive and safe elections in Nigeria.’’