The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has emphasized the need to review the laws governing the State Independent Electoral Commissions (SIEC).
The Chairman of INEC, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, who made the called on Thursday in Abuja while receiving members of the Forum of State Independent Electoral Commissions of Nigeria (FOSIECON), said the review should make the SIEC align with what is obtainable in INEC.
According to the INEC boss, besides making the rules guiding the SIEC’s more like those of the INEC, there was need to give the SIECs their financial independence, in order for them to be truly free of external manipulations and be free to deliver their statutory duties objectively.
“We need modern law to guide and to govern the conduct of local government elections in the country that draw to a considerable extent from the national electoral legal framework.
“The second issue we need to work together on is the independence of SEIC. Independence of SIEC cannot be guaranteed where there is no financial independence. We will look at whatever we can do to ensure financial independence for the SIEC that will enormously help the conduct of elections”, he said.
He said that though INEC was not involved in the conduct of council elections, the commission had been a partner with SIEC in several ways, including the provision of register of voters and voting cubicles to the latter in conduct of such elections.
The INEC boss, who stressed the need for continuous interaction between the two electoral bodies, recalled that they meet in February 2018 where they discussed the need for regular interaction and others critical issues that must be acted upon.
“We discussed the need for resuscitation and reconstitution of our interactive committee so that we can continue to interact in a deeper way. We need to do this as soon as possible to enable the committee resume work, review and strengthening our Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and to plan our joint conference which is proposed to take place in the first quarter of 2020”, he said.
Speaking earlier, FOSIECON and Abia State SIEC Chairman, Justice Igbozuruike Akomas, said his group was at INEC headquarters to facilitate the implementation of MoU and proposals made during the meeting between the two electoral bodies held on Feb. 21, 2018.