9th December, 2021
The Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission, LASIEC, on Thursday said it would soon begin implementation of its strategic plan for effective and improved conduct of subsequent elections.
LASIEC Chairman, Justice Ayotunde Phillips (Rtd) disclosed this at the commission’s office in Yaba during a post-election media briefing.
She said the plan was painstakingly put together by the commission for improvement in the efficiency and effectiveness of LASIEC.
“This will move the commission from short-term planning regarding immediate elections, to a long-term approach that takes the whole electoral cycle into consideration.
“Above all, it will now allow the commission to grow as an institution and ultimately become more efficient as an electoral management body. We are the first SIEC to implement such plan and our gratitude goes to the International Foundation for Electoral Systems that guided us through this process,” she said.
On the last Local Government election, Phillips decried low turnout of voters, saying that 678,324 votes were cast during the poll, out of the six million registered voters, which she said represented 10.3 percent of eligible voters in Lagos State.
She stated that the commission would continue to intensify her voter education strategy to better improve on these numbers in subsequent elections.
The LASIEC boss said despite the success in the conduct of the election, there were some legal challenges, disclosing that 12 pre-election cases were filed, with four concluded.
She added that appeals had been filed in respect of two, revealing that 20 election petitions were filed before the two tribunals and that they had all been disposed of by the tribunals.
“Out of the 20 cases filed, the four filed by YPP were withdrawn and were accordingly dismissed by the tribunal. Five of the cases were struck out for want of diligent prosecution while 11 petitions were tried and decided on their merit.
“Six appeals were filed before the election petitions appeal tribunal where five of the appeals filed before it were dismissed. The decision of the lower tribunal in one of the petitions was affirmed and the commission immediately complied with judgement of the appeal tribunal.
“One post-election case has now been filed and in all, we have eight pending cases in both the Federal High Court and the State High Court,” she disclosed.
Phillips urged the media to continuously work towards generating an enduring democratic value and culture that would ultimately extend beyond the political system and would become entrenched in the public’s consciousness over time.
“In also lending its voice to the fight against voters apathy, the media can shine a light on the issue while also holding officials and political appointees accountable to the citizens so that they are better able to meet their expectations by implementing their campaign promises and party manifestoes. This will further encourage and promote electoral interest and improve voter turnout,” she said.