The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Abubakar Malami, SAN, on Thursday, restated that President Muhammadu Buhari is committed to the conduct of credible, free, fair and widely acceptable general elections.
Malami disclosed this at a conference organised by the National Association of Judiciary Correspondents, NAJUC, Abuja chapter.
Speaking on the theme, “2023 General Elections: Judiciary and Sustainability of Nigeria’s Democracy,” the AGF said: “It is important to note that President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration is committed to [a] fair, credible and violent-free electoral process in the country.
This is evident in Mr President’s recent assent to the Electoral Act, 2022 which has been applauded by many patriotic citizens, pundits and the international community.”
Malami said one of the major highlights of the new Electoral Act is the legal backing provided for the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to deploy technology among many other commendable initiatives to bequeath posterity, a legacy of viable democratization tool.
Malami pointed out that the sustainability of Nigeria’s democracy is not linear, stressing that citizens have vital roles to play in the democratic process and must shun all vices that are capable of undermining the progress that has been recorded so far.
“In particular, the media is paramount in voter education so that the Nigerian citizens are enlightened to resist the urge of selling their votes and not to allow themselves to be used to commit electoral offences or cause violence before, during and after elections,” the AGF stated.
Also, the Chief Judge of the High Court of the FCT, Justice Hussain Baba Yusuf, admitted that the judiciary is under pressure due to an unprecedented number of pre-election cases, which will definitely skyrocket after the election proper.
Represented by Justice Olukayode Adeniyi, the Chief Judge assured that justice will be done to all the cases without fear, favour or ill will.
Chairman of NAJUC, Mr Kayode Lawal, appealed to politicians to play politics by the rules and in accordance with the provisions of the Electoral Act, 2022.
Lawal noted that the last primary elections conducted by various political parties to select candidates for the forthcoming general elections were fraught with fraud, deceit and illegality.
The NAJUC Chairman noted the upsurge in the number of pre-election cases pending in various jurisdictions across the country and called on the judiciary to work hard to dispose of all the cases timeously.