Laolu Akande, a former presidential spokesperson and journalist, made his debut as a political analyst on Channels TV, where he called for a reconsideration of the Justice Muhammadu Uwais electoral reforms.
While analyzing the recently concluded off-season governorship elections in Kogi, Imo, and Bayelsa States, Akande highlighted the significant issue of voter apathy in Nigeria, emphasizing that it warrants more attention. During an interview on Channels TV News at 10, he expressed concern about the low voter turnout, especially in off-season elections, compared to countries like Kenya, where turnout is higher.
Akande also addressed issues of violence and intimidation, citing instances in Kogi where election results were allegedly written ahead of voting. He underscored the growing level of impunity in electoral offenses, referencing the Uwais Report released in 2008. The report noted a lack of convictions for electoral offenses since 1960, highlighting the need for a thorough review.
He particularly pointed out the recommendation in the Uwais Report that all cases related to elections must be concluded before elected officials are sworn in, emphasizing that this would limit the judiciary’s role in the process. Akande expressed concern about the judiciary’s extensive involvement in determining election outcomes, contrary to the Uwais panel report’s caution against such over-participation.
In conclusion, Akande stressed the importance of revisiting the Uwais Report, stating that many of the ongoing challenges were highlighted in the report. He echoed the need to address issues such as the judiciary’s predominant role in the electoral process and the lack of convictions for electoral offenses.