INEC should be unbundled, says Agbakoba

Maritime and Human Rights lawyer, Dr Olisa Agbakoba, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) and lead partner, Olisa Agbakoba Legal (OAL) has called for the unbundling of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Agbakoba made the call on Friday during a media chat organised by OAL in Lagos, on the discourse of the 2015 general elections and the state of the nation.

Agbakoba noted that it could be difficult for the INEC to give its optimal effective service considering that it had been saddled with too many critical responsibilities.

He said that the Justice Uwais Panel Committee, in which he was a member, recommended for the unbundling of the INEC when it saw the challenges of INEC handling too many things.

“INEC is doing far too many things; INEC is like the biggest printer in Nigeria, they register political parties, they prosecute electoral offences.

“INEC does the most crucial, which is conducting the election and declaring the winner.

“What I notice is that INEC does not really play that regulatory role, which is why at the Uwais Panel Committee, we recommended that INEC ought to be unbundled and I still think that should happen,” Agbakoba said.

He said INEC must act as a March referee who is powerful enough to be in control, adding that INEC must be present in every primary election and make its observations.

“If you liken it to a football match, am assigned to be the referee between Nigeria and Ghana, I have to procure the field, mark the field, put up the goal post and the lines, I won’t be efficient.

“My job is to come with the whistle, which should be INEC’s new job. It should come with a whistle. Everything around INEC that is not central to that function should be removed.

“Therefore, we recommended the political parties registration agency, it is their function to determine what political party qualify to be on the book. INEC has no capacity for that,” Agbakoba stated.