Electoral Act Amendment Bill:

National Assembly

National Assembly

Electoral Act Amendment Bill Historical Timeline

Countryman,

If you are not aware: the Independent National Electoral Commission had earlier stated that the electoral body, INEC, cannot conduct e-voting as the act (law) that established the body—–Electoral Act 2010 Amended ( The law was last ammended in 2010 by our Senators and Representatives at the National Assembly)—- doesn’t empower INEC to transmit polling results electronically.

Okay. Possible…..isn’t it?

Shebi you know that any policy that contradicts its constitutional provision and the act that enabled it is capable of being declared null and void?

Alright!

This was why one of our senators, Sen. Ovie Omo-Agege (Delta-Central) sponsored a bill in the house—— Electoral Act Ammendment Bill—— that will ammend the Electoral Act 2010 (as Amended) so that INEC will be able to employ electronic procedures such as e-voting in conducting elections.

Senator Omo-Agege, sponsor of the Electoral Act Amendment Bill

Senator Omo-Agege, sponsor of the Electoral Act Amendment Bill

The bill has been brought to the house since 2018 however the President, Muhammadu Buhari, has declined to assent to the bill at 3 different times citing the reasons of constitution usurpation, drafting errors/issues and proximity to the the then 2019 elections (which ECOWAS electoral protocol also stated) respectively, and has returned it to the house.

In the present 9th Assembly (2019-2023) , the bill has been re-introduced to the house but it has been delayed only passing the first reading—–introduction with about 3 stages left.

Nevertheless, the Senate President, Senator Ahmed Lawan, has assured the EU-SDGN (European Union Support Democratic Governance in Nigeria) partners, a commission seemingly interested in enhancing the credibility of elections in Nigeria, that by July 2021 the bill will be passed.

Senate-President Ahmed Lawan

Senate-President Ahmed Lawan

Commendable…Right?

Yeah…

If the bill is passed it will repeal the Electroral Act 2010 and come into effect empowering INEC to enhance the quality of elections in Nigeria.

Now the bill has passed the first reading——introduction and is being considered for second reading—–correction……But a wrong correction!

I am surprised and saddened that this bill once again, is being frustrated at the National Assembly——-our Senators have decided that they will pass the bill without the electronic transmission clause the bill contains. Hmmm——- this will give INEC another excuse not to transmit election results electronically!—— another ploy by these politicians to avoid transparency in the electoral process, to recycle themselves into office by hook and crook, to prevent the so’ro soke from voting them out by voting capable candidates in.

Why should they remove that clause from the bill brought in by Senator Ovie Omo-Agege? Senator Omo-Agege himself, though he is the Deputy- Senate President, shouldn’t allow the Senators to connive to disrupt the beautiful provisions of the Electoral Act Amendment Bill.

If JAMB is empowered by law to transmit examination results of JAMBITES (JAMB candidates) to it website why shouldn’t INEC be empowered to transmit polling results, by passing all necessary bills such as the Electoral Act Ammendment Bill into law?

I hope Nigerians will rise up to defend the Electoral Act Ammendment Bill—– a hope of credible elections in Nigeria.

The European Union Support for Democratic Governance which implored NASS to consolidate citizen’s feedback in the Electoral Act Amendment Bill should also not underestimate the action of the National Assembly in not considering the “electronic transmission of results” clause in the bill.

My Petition List

  1. Issuance of socially conclusive benchmarks in the prices of nomination and declaration of interest forms.
  2. Reformation of INEC, electing the head and not appointment; for neutrality.
  3. Security of election.
  4. campaign finance control
  5. Electronic voting, transmission and publishing of polling results at each polling booth—–no longer collation centres.
  6. Diaspora voting at Nigerian embassies and high commissions
  7. Electoral Space Sanitization Bill; election fraudsters: parties, candidates, INEC officials or voters found in electoral malpractice as proven will be disqualified in that election and be placed on a ban in future elections.
  8. No election should be declared inconclusive except signed by the polling agent, party agents and at least 50 per cent of the voters registered at the concerned polling booth. This declaration can however be up turned by a constituted election petition tribunal.
  9. Electoral Security Department to be in charge of policing the polling booths during the election period.

I l listed the above ways to prevent electoral malpractices in Nigeria so you can know what I included in the petition for NASS to include in the bill.

Don’t forget to sign the petition, it is addressed to the National Assembly and to President Buhari:Revise and Pass Electoral Reforms Bill (#RightToFreeFairElection)

And let us keep ourselves updated on the latest development of the Electoral Act Amendment Bill on the National Assembly’s official Electoral Act Amendment Bill tracker

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