Human rights lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mr. Femi Falana, has called on the federal government to implement some of the recommendations of electoral reform committees before implementing those of foreign election observers.
Falana listed the electoral reform committees to include the Justice Mohammed Uwais Panel, Ahmed Lemu Panel and Senator Ken Nnamani Panel.
He criticised the attention the federal government was paying to the report on the 2019 general election submitted by European Union election observers.
He expressed his displeasure in a statement issued yesterday where he said the report of the EU was being celebrated by all stakeholders, including the media.
The senior lawyer pointed out that, while the reports of the local monitors have been ignored by the federal government and stakeholders, many people are advising the federal government to adopt the EU report in its entirety.
He, however, insisted that before the report of the EU on how to conduct credible elections is adopted, the federal government “should be compelled to implement recommendations of the Justice Mohammed Uwais Panel, Ahmed Lemu Panel and Ken Nnamani Panel on electoral reforms.”
According to the rights advocate, the recommendations and the reports of the local election monitors are much more relevant than the report of the foreign observers.
“The last general election in Nigeria took place between February and March 2019. The election was monitored by local monitors and supervised by foreign observers. The reports of the local monitors have been ignored by the federal government and other stakeholders.
“However, the report of the former colonial master and her allies in the European Union is being celebrated by all the stakeholders including the mass media. After launching the report at Abuja the foreign election observers are currently presenting copies to the presidency, national assembly, INEC, APC, PDP, etc.
“Even many people who have not read the report of the foreigners election are praising it and advising the federal government to adopt it in toto!
“But before the report of the ex-colonial masters on how to conduct credible elections in Nigeria is adopted the neo-colonial federal government must be compelled to implement the recommendations of the Justice Mohammed Uwais Panel, Ahmed Lemu Panel and Ken Nnamani Panel on electoral reforms.
“The recommendations and the reports of the local election monitors are much more relevant than the report of the foreign observers.
“Meanwhile, since the federal government has refused to set up the electoral offences tribunal recommended by the Uwais Panel the INEC and the police should arraign in court the godfathers who sabotaged internal democracy in some of the parties and the armed thugs who committed other grave electoral offences during the last general election,” Falana said.