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Electoral Act 2022: Gbajabiamila dismisses calls for fresh amendments before elections

By Msugh Ityokura, Abuja
22 September 2022   |   5:07 am
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has dismissed calls for fresh amendments to the Electoral Act 2022, saying such was not advisable now that the 2023 general elections..

Speaker, House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila. Photo/FACEBOOK/SPEAKERGBAJA

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has dismissed calls for fresh amendments to the Electoral Act 2022, saying such was not advisable now that the 2023 general elections are just a couple of months away.

Making new amendments to the law this period, according to him, could disorganise election planning, create unnecessary tension in the polity and raise credibility questions.

The safest route, he said, would be to further amend the Act after the elections if a need arose, or in the alternative, aggrieved persons could approach the judiciary to seek an interpretation of any contentious provision.

Gbajabiamila, spoke, yesterday, in Abuja, while playing host to leadership of the Inter Party Advisory Council (IPAC) where he called for patience, urging parties to seize the opportunity of the upcoming polls to fully test the Act and determine the success of innovations such as electronic transmission of results, deployment of Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BIVAS), among others.

He added that upon a successful poll, other innovations such as electronic collation of results and Diaspora voting could also be considered.

The IPAC delegation was led by the national chairman, Yabagi Sani, who said the visit was to seek synergy and a good working relationship between IPAC and the National Assembly.

Among the issues he tabled before Gbajabiamila were the alleged flouting of Section 31 of the Electoral Act by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), funding of political parties and the urgency to establish the Electoral Offences Commission, among others.

He lamented that while the law allowed political parties to replace candidates 90 days to election, INEC opted to shut its portal when the days had yet to elapse, preferring to use its rules and regulations in determining the fate of the political parties and their candidates.

“A lot of people are being disenfranchised because INEC says we can not substitute anybody even though the 90 days haven not elapsed.

“Do the INEC rules and regulations supersede the Electoral Act?” Sani queried.

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