The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Electoral Act, Sharafadeen Alli has revealed that the Senate is working to ensure that election petitions are concluded before the swearing-in of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)’s announced winner.
Making this known while speaking on Channels TV’s Sunrise Daily on Tuesday, Alli said that unnecessary petitions were the reason the election umpire had to conduct off-cycle elections.
“We looked at the timing for elections and election petitions, we looked at a lot of administrative issues, that may not require legislation but under the purview of INEC. In terms of legislation about election petition what we think is that all pre-election matters should end before the election,” he said.
“A situation where someone would have won an election and the pre-election matter will then get to the Supreme Court, and you now say it is the wrong person who is there and that person would leave; it is certainly going to affect the finances of our country and also the morale of the people, we are also looking at a situation where election petitions are concluded before swearing in. We are thinking of abridging the time within which to file and conclude election petitions so that somebody will not be sworn in and that is what led us into having these off-cycle elections, there wouldn’t have been any need for it if e are able to conclude election petitions before the swearing in or inauguration of the assembly,” he added.
He further revealed that the lawmakers are “going to abridge the time within which to file and conclude petitions, when we were having some two years and we reduced it to one year they said ah it is not possible, now we are doing it within 180 days, in some other countries, within 14 days, 21 days election petitions are concluded.”