Senate Transmits Electoral Bill To Buhari For Assent

Senate Transmits Electoral Bill To Buhari For Assent
The National Assembly has transmitted the recently passed Electoral Amendment Bill to the president for assent, an official has said.

This was made known in a statement by the Senior Special Adviser to the President on National Assembly Matters, Babajide Omoworare, on Friday.

He said the transmission of the bill is based on Section 58 (3) of the Nigerian Constitution.

“Please be informed that in pursuance of Section 58 (3) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) and the Acts Authentication Act Cap. A2 LFN 2004, the National Assembly has transmitted the Electoral Bill 2021 to Mr. President today Friday November 19, 2021,” the statement read.

The transmission of the bill comes a few weeks after it was passed by both chambers of the National Assembly.

The bill, which had generated controversies during its consideration, is aimed at resolving issues concerning INEC’s introduction of modern technologies into the electoral process, particularly accreditation of voters, electronic voting and electronic transmission of results from polling units.

In the bill recently signed, the lawmakers empowered the electoral umpire to determine the use of electronic voting as well as transmission of results in an election.

The bill also prescribes the use of direct primaries for political parties in choosing candidates for elective offices.

The transmission of the bill also comes barely 24 hours after the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, met with President Muhammadu Buhari and urged him to assent to the bill and accept the use of direct primaries.

Many state governors are opposed to direct primaries and have thus asked the president not to sign the bill.

The transmission of the bill also comes a day after the chairman of the Senate Committee on INEC, Kabiru Gaya, said assent to the bill will help INEC easily tackle the challenges that the commission faced during the November 6 Anambra governorship election.

“It is even good that it happened in the Anambra governorship election. If it had happened at the general elections, it would be a catastrophe.

“Unlike in the past when funds for elections were not released a few weeks to elections, this time, we specifically mentioned that part of the funds meant for the election must be provided a year before the election.

“That is why we have a proposal for partial release of N100 billion for the 2023 general elections in the 2022 budget. We are hoping that we could get further funding before the election.

“The N100 billion will allow INEC to order materials that it would need ahead of the elections including machines that could be manufactured here in the country,” he said.

The amendments to the Act, he said, were made based on the views and requests of Nigerians.

He also said the direct primary is taking democracy to the grassroots.

“That is what President Buhari always talks about. It will allow people who are card-carrying members of the party to decide who should be their candidate. We are happy with it and we believe that President Buhari will sign the bill very soon.”

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