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Ex-NERC boss Amadi reports political parties to INEC over alleged violation of Electoral Act

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From Okwe Obi, Abuja

A former Chairman, Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Dr Sam Amadi, has reported 18 political parties to the Chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Yakubu Mahmood, for allegedly violating some provisions of the 2020 Electoral Act.

In a open letter, titled, ‘Call for Effective Enforcement of Internal Democracy under the Electoral Act, 2020’, and dated May 9, 2022, he claimed that some political stalwarts have turned party leadership into a weapon against democratic freedoms of Nigerians and the consolidation of democracy.

Amadi, who is the Director, Abuja School of Social and Political Thought, tasked the electoral umpire to effectively regulate management of party primary

elections in order to secure strong foundations for democracy in Nigeria.

He said: “Mr. Chairman, in the context of the extreme importance of ensuring democratic election of all delegates for the elective congress, primaries and conventions of all the political parties for the 2023 general elections, it is necessary for the Commission to issue clear guidelines on the proper interpretation of Section 84 to avoid a looming violation of the Electoral Act 2022 by most of the political parties.

“The Commission should exercise its power as a regulatory agency to issue authoritative interpretation of the provisions of the new electoral law relevant to the conduct of primary.

“The authority of the Commission as a regulator agency to issue a determinative interpretation on its law- the Elec toral Act 2022- has been well established by the classical decision of the US Supreme Court in Chevron v. National Resources Defense Council 467 U.S. 837 (1984) that the court will defer to the interpretation of the agency in respect of its laws as long as those interpretations are logical, reasonable, and rational.”

He further directed the Commission to:

“Issue an authoritative statement in the form of an interpretative guidelines on the conduct of primary elections for the 2023 general elections that only delegates that were duly elected by members of the party in congress, conventions of meeting called in line with Section 84(8) of the Electoral Act 2022 are legible to vote candidates in any elective primary or convention of a party for the purpose of choosing candidates for elective offices.

“Therefore, no statutory delegate who is not so elected is qualified to be a delegate to such elective primary or congress;

“Issue an authoritative statement that in determining the validity of any elective congress, the Commission will consider the report of its officials who monitored the congress.

“Where the report from INEC officials is that the congress was fraudulently conducted, the Commission will nullify such congress and will not allow any delegate that emerged from the nullified congress to participate in the elective congress or primary to choose candidates for elective offices.

“Mr. Chairman, the new electoral law has empowered the Commission to regulate the management of political parties to ensure that the objective of electoral democracy, which is political equality, is realized.

“The law grants the Commission the power to disqualify any candidate that emerges from a process that is not manifestly democratic.

“It is time the Commission exercises this power to the fullest to save our democracy from the stranglehold of party bureaucrats and their patrons.”

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