Abuja - The Independent National
Electoral Commission (INEC) on Monday inaugurated a committee on Management of
Election Petitions with a charge to members to enunciate measures to improve
the nation’s electoral process.
Inaugurating the committee in Abuja, the acting Chairman of
INEC, Hajia Amina Zakari, urged the committee members to put in their best in
the discharge of their duties for the benefit of Nigerians.
Zakari expressed concern over the situation where INEC was
usually joined as a respondent to election petitions and subpoenaed to testify
and provide election materials to numerous election tribunals at enormous cost
to the commission.
"These demands take a toll on our staff, while INEC as a
commission is still expected to defend its role in the conduct of the
"We have to deploy in-house and external solicitors to
appear for and on behalf of the commission.
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"These informed our desire to ensure better management of
the various election petitions involving the commission, thus the setting of
this committee,’’ she said.
Zakari said that the 13-man committee was expected to employ
all modalities appropriately to achieve its terms of reference within two
The committee’s terms of reference according to Zakari are
to monitor the on-going cases of election petitions and identify the challenges
encountered by the petitioners, INEC, respondents, and the witnesses.
The committee is to also assess the cost of managing
election petitions, as well as to report on the conduct of INEC staff and
private legal practitioners representing the commission in petitions, among
She said that the committee’s report and recommendations
would be subjected to wider circulation in order to fine tune and incorporate
them into the commission’s processes.
Responding on behalf of the committee members, Mr Kassim
Gaidam, the Chairman of the committee, said that the members would try their
best to achieve the aims of setting up the committee.
Gaidam also commended the composition of the committee
members, saying the choice of professionals in necessary fields would make the
committee’s job simple.
While Mr Osaze Oluwole-Uzzi is to serve as the committee’s
secretary, some of its members are, Abdul Mohammed, Yakubu Maikasuwa, Mrs
Maryam Damisa, Mrs Ene Edwins and Mr Festus Okoye.