Tuesday, April 16, 2019 / 12.00PM / Bukola
Akinyele for Proshare WebTV
Achieving a credible electoral process in
Nigeria, that applies the ethics and standards required is not the sole
responsibility of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC the
This was a major takeaway from the recent
discourse on “Anti-Corruption and Accountability in the Electoral
Process in Nigeria” hosted recently by the Centre for Values and
Leadership in partnership with the Independent Corrupt Practices & Related
Offences Commission in Lagos.
Chairman of the ICPC Professor Bolaji Owasanoye in his
presentation outlined the characteristics of “Anti-Corruption and
Accountability in the Electoral Process” which include the following;
Which means the institutions responsible for a credible electoral process
must have perpetual existence which must be established by law.
appointment and composition of the key players of the governing board or
commissioners, must be transparent.
must be security and stability of tenure
must be protection on the actions that are taken by the institutions from the
influence of desperate politicians.
must be power to hire and fire people that work in the institutions
must be operational autonomy for the institution
must be financial autonomy for the institutions
Table 1 Nigerian Corruption Index Ranking
Source: Transparency International,
On making progress in the electoral process in
Nigeria, Professor Owasanoye highlighted what he considered as key issues
that should be taken into consideration, which include;
and how funds are appropriated
much power and control is given over decision making
truly are those decisions implemented by staff
much control e.g. securities agencies
capacity to prosecute infractions and offences in the electoral process
perceptions about the rule of law
a very weak and dysfunctional criminal justice system
Role of the Media- The role of the media cannot be overemphasized because they
set an agenda to the public to be inform and educate the public .
Role of Political Parties: The role that political parties are playing is
critical towards stabilizing the polity and electoral process.
of electoral expenses and monitoring of financing of political parties is
crucial to tackling corrupt practices during the electoral process.
Role of Securities Agencies- Security Agencies are vital to the success of the
electoral process and must remain professional and avoid being partisan e.g the
police and the military
Speaking further the ICPC Chairman gave an update on
the ways in which the ICPC has been collaborating with the Independent National
Electoral Commission, INEC which include the following areas;
out robust measures with INEC with clear strategies that will see more
proactive than reactionary steps in the electoral process.
together to look at the weak links and the weak points in the entire process,
with a view to adopting technology and digitization to improve the
with INEC to constantly review the legal framework for the electoral process
Presenting the CVL report on the “Ethics
and Standards in Electoral Process in Nigeria” a Mac Arthur Foundation Election
and Accountability project 2018 Mr Rasheed Adegbenro the Vice-President,
Strategy & Development, established the fact that achieving free and fair
elections goes beyond the Independent National Eelctoral Commission.
Mr Adegbenro stressed the need for
cooperation by stakeholders in the electoral process, to guarantee that future
elections are free and fair as well free from corruption, are transparent and
that elected persons are accountable to the electorate.
Some of the key recommendations from the
report supported by the Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre, PLAC as it concerns
relevant agencies and stakeholders include;
electoral body should be removed from the list of Federal Executive Bodies, to
be free from any form of financial encumbrance
that standards and procedures for issuing, processing, researching and counting
provisional ballots are clear, transparent, public and uniform.
a method for evaluating how well poll workers are following provisional voting
procedures to determine if poll worker error contributed to any provisional
ballot not being counted
need for effective training and recruitment of Ad-hoc Staff.
- There should be adequate time between resolution of conflicts and
swearing in of elected officials; Section 134 (2) and (3) of the Electoral Act
2010 and Section 285(6) and (7) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and
Section 285(6) and (7) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) should be reviewed
such that election tribunal cases are expedited.
should adhere strictly to the rules of the Electoral Act in resolution of Post
EFCC (Economic Financial Crimes
- Through Intelligence gathering, EFCC should ensure that candidates and
their political parties do not spend above the stipulated money recommended for
campaigns and elections.
through its department should ensure that politicians are informed on laws
regarding political corruption in Nigeria.
- Citizens should not allow themselves to be used by politicians to
are stakeholders and should be involved in the electoral process
- There should be adequate period by parties to select party
representatives at each level of election
provisions in party constitution that require increased reprentation of women
and persons with disabilities in parties executive committees
youth candidacy by free nomination
The Nigerian Police Force
- The police should be guided by and conform to appropriate principles,
rules, code of ethics and laws governing police duties, especially in relation
to crowd control and use of firearms.
- Police officers should maintain impartiality, and eschew partisanship or
discrimination between the ruling and non-ruling, big or small parties.
media should help to build enlightened electorate. Public enlightenment is a
pre-requisite for free and fair elections
Nigerian Broadcasting Commission and private and state-owned media outlets
should strictly enforce and adhere to regulations on media neutrality and take
steps against hate messaging and misinformation in the media.
National Orientation Agency
NOA should collaborate effectively with NGOs on Voter education
- NOA should
come up with various programmes that would enhance electoral awareness.
should develop a document on electioneering that will be translated into major
NON Governmental Organizations
should play an active role in monitoring campaign finance and the pre and post
should be actively involved in voter education and advocacy
should also come up with pre-election programmes such as debates for candidates
so as to re-emphasize the need for free, fair and credible elections
should audit performance of elected officials at all levels of government and
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