April 13, 2024

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Senate Amends Electoral Act To Allow Political Office-Holders Vote At Congresses, Primaries

During its plenary on Tuesday, May 10, the Nigerian Senate further amended the Electoral Act, 2022, to allow statutory delegates to take part in political activities of their parties. The bill that focuses on 2022 Electoral Act No. 13 had scaled, its first, second, and third readings and was then passed after consideration by the Committee of the Whole. Persons under the category of ‘statutory delegates’ are president, vice president, members of the National Assembly, governors and their deputies, members of the State Houses of Assembly, chairmen of councils, councillors, National Working Committee of political parties, amongst others.

The bill was sponsored by the Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege who said it seeks to amend the provision of section 84(8) of the Electoral Act as it does not include statutory delegates taking part in voting exercises in their parties.

His words: “The extant section only clearly provides for the participation of elected delegates in the conventions, congresses or meetings of political parties held to nominate candidates of political parties. “This is an unintended error, and we can only correct it with this amendment now before us.” On his part, Senate President Ahmad Lawan, after the bill was passed, said it is hoped that President Muhammadu Buhari will sign the amendment bill into law.

According to him, “The electoral act has a deficiency that was never intended and that deficiency will deny all statutory delegates in all political parties from participating in congresses and conventions,” Lawan said. “Our expectation is that the national assembly will finish the processing of this amendment between today and tomorrow and the executive will do the assent within the week. “It is important to enable every statutory delegate to vote.”