By Anthony Nwachukwu
The National Executive Committee of the Chartered Institute of Transport Administration of Nigeria (CIoTA) has suspended the body’s electoral process for the 2022 general elections over a breach of the electoral requirements by the organising committee.
The decision, was jointly signed by the Chairman of Council and President CIoTA, Dr Bashir Jamoh, and National Secretary, Chinda Evans Ogbuji, followed the resolution at a NEC emergency meeting, which cited the provisions of paragraph 6, sub-paragraph 3 of the first schedule of the CIoTA Establishment Act.
A seven-man ad-hoc electoral panel headed by Prof. Innocent Ogwude had earlier announced a schedule for the election slated for the last week of November 2022 during the body’s Annual General Meeting.
Justifying the decision, however, NEC said it was to save the entire electoral process, and reiterated commitment to transparent and credible election towards the handover of power to the next administration, according to a statement from the CIoTA Publicity Secretary, Mrs. Chizoba Anyika.
“We had to take this decision to save the entire electoral process,” the statement quoted Jamoh to say. “NEC has received several complaints about the process, such as ad-hoc electoral committee levying interested members for expression of interest form without approval of NEC.”
Other allegations included “non-publication of all vacant elective positions, restriction of collection and submission of nomination forms to just one week instead of the five weeks to election date as stipulated in the CIOTA Act, non-adherence to eligibility criteria, and lack of transparency and fairness in the entire process.”
Warning the committee to shun being coerced into actions that will set bad precedence and injure CIoTA’s reputation, Jamoh stressed that the body will not condone any act by anybody or group to bring the institute to disrepute.
He added: “I am glad about the level of interest in CIOTA electoral process. It’s a testament to the enviable standards we have taken the institute to. We are committed to ensuring fair play in the conduct of elections. All interested aspirants must be given equal opportunity and a level playfield.
“All actions leading to the elections must be in line with the CIoTA Act 2019. CIoTA is a creation of the law and must be guided by provisions of its enabling Act.
“Being the Exco that midwifed the enactment of the CIoTA Act in 2019, we will not condone any action contrary to the Act and constitution of the institute on election matters.”
According to section 5, sub-section 2(a) of the CIoTA Act 2019, collection and submission of nomination forms are scheduled to elapse five weeks to the elections.