By Salisu Sani-Idris
Lateef Fagbemi, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), says the amendment of the Electoral Act, has enhanced Nigeria’s electoral processes and placed it among the best in the world.
Fagbemi stated this in a keynote lecture title, Nigeria: Within the compass of the 2023 General Elections, at a public lecture in honour of Muslim brothers who were recently elevated and sworn-in as SAN, in Abuja on Tuesday.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the lecture was organised by the FCT Chapter of Muslim Lawyers Association of Nigeria (MULAN) at the Auditorium of the Abuja National Mosque.
He said that if all provisions of the electoral act, 2022 were implemented, Nigerians would enjoy the exercise of their franchise before and after the 2023 General Election and the country would be better for it.
” The technological advancement, especially the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) machines can be said to have taken Nigeria a step closer to a perfect election and indeed, better choice of leaders, if people exercise their franchise without prejudice or primordial consideration.
” BVAS is now like a gateway that interrogates a prospective electorate to determine whether such is eligible to vote since accreditation of voters is solely based on same unlike in the past where is a footprint of every voter and can actually be explained if the need arises.
” BVAS also shuts the door on the era of unexplained over voting and other issues related to inconsistencies in number of voters. Furthermore, with the electronic transmission of votes, challenges like ballot box snatching and interception of ballot box papers have been addressed,” he said.
The SAN also said that the act would ensure more sanity and transparency in the electoral process leading to the 2023 General Election.
” The compass of the 2023 election in the face of the electoral act, 2022 promises a good destination for Nigeria, or at least, a good start.
” However, Nigeria has never been short of good or appropriate laws. The enforcement and interpretation by the court are also issues that must be given the desired attention. Given that laws do not interpret or enforce themselves,” he said.
Speaking on behalf of the recently inducted SANs, former Gov.Mohammed Abubakar of Bauchi State, said the title of the lecture was very apt considering election was around the corner.
” I must thank the leadership of the Muslim Lawyers Association of Nigeria, FCT Chapter, for deemed it fit to first and foremost for honouring us with this public lecture which is very educative.
” Legal practice is a profession I choosen for myself for many years ago. In fact it was a childhood ambition. I have virtually been in every sector of the legal profession and I rose through the ranks in the Bauchi State Ministry of Justice until I became a Director of Public Prosecution and ultimately the Antony General of Justice of Bauchi state,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the event was attended by legal practitioners from within and outside the nation’s capital. (NAN)
Edited by Ali Baba-Inuwa