1 December 2010

Nigeria: FCT Muslim Lawyers Hold Symposium on 2010 Electoral Act

The Abuja chapter of Muslim Lawyers Association of Nigeria (MULAN) yesterday held its annual 'MULAN Week Symposium' with a call on all stakeholders, especially politicians and political parties to play by the rules in order to ensure the success of the 2011 general elections.

Independent National Electoral Commission's (INEC) Director of Legal Services, Barrister Ibrahim Bawa, told participants that the 2010 Electoral Act was formulated to redress the shortcomings of the 2006 Electoral Act.

According to him, nothing is wrong with most legislation on elections in Nigeria but the attitudes of Nigerians, who deliberately undermine the provisions of the laws and make the laws look bad.

"Nigerians especially the politicians should imbibe the culture of playing by the rules and accepting defeat, some of them being disaffection in the new parties after undermining the internal democracy of the new party they join to secure tickets, thereby causing disaffection and litigations with those aspiring in the new parties," he said.

While reiterating INEC chairman's stance that there would be no partiality, as there would be a level playing ground for everyone, Bawa urged judicial practitioners to uphold the truth as is expected of them.

Chairman of the occasion, Deacon Dele Adeshina, said the judiciary being part of the bastion of democracy and national development should be seen as impartial arbiter, adding that concerns have been shown on a few members of the profession that jeopardised the credibility and success of electoral processes.

Chairman Senate Committee on Judiciary, Senator Umar Dahiru, represented by Barrister Ibrahim Eddy Mark, criticised electoral malpractices.

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