|Members of the Delegation from Nigerian Senate Committee on Constitution Reform|
On April 28 – 30, the International Law Institute hosted the Nigerian Senate Committee on Constitution Reform for a special seminar on the US election system. The delegation included Senators Philip Tanimu Aduda, Heineken Lokpobiri, Ahmed Makarfi, Margery Chuba-Okadigbo, and Oluremi Tinubu, as well as committee clerk Innocent Mebiri and Prof. Ignatius Ayua. The Senate Committee is considering reforms to the Nigerian election law in advance of the upcoming presidential and parliamentary vote in February 2015.
Under the direction of its Executive Director Kim Phan, ILI arranged for meetings with the US Senate Committee on Rules, which has jurisdiction over federal election laws, as well as with Lee Goodman, Chairman of the Federal Election Commission, which oversees US campaign finance regulations. In addition, ILI organized a visit to Annapolis for meetings with Maryland state election officials, to provide a fuller picture of election administration at the local level.
The customized seminar also featured several speakers and sessions providing an overview of the US electoral system, technology and elections, campaign finance, and election fraud and dispute resolution.
The visit is part of an ongoing and deep-seated relationship between the Nigerian government and the International Law Institute. In addition to previous workshops for the Nigerian Senate, ILI projects have included training in judicial administration for members of the Nigerian Supreme Court and Federal High Court, legislative drafting seminars for the National Institute of Legislative Studies (a part of the Nigerian National Assembly) and the Lagos State House of Assembly, and a public-private partnerships (PPP) training seminar for Nigerian government and private sector participants.