Fri. Jun 21st, 2024

Ngozi James

President Muhammadu Buhari has finally signed the Electoral Act Amendment Bill 2022 into law.

The President Buhari signed the Bill at the Council Chamber of the Presidential Villa in Abuja, on Friday.

The President also urged the National Assembly to amend section 84(12) of the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill 2022, saying it violates the provisions of sections 40 and 42 of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria as amended.

The President, while signing the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill 2022, into law on Friday, revealed that the provisions in section 84(12), “constitutes a fundamental defect, as it is in conflict with extant constitutional provisions”

According to the President, “Section 84 (12) constitutes a disenfranchisement of serving political office holders from voting or being voted for at Conventions or Congresses of any political party, for the purpose of the nomination of candidates for any election in cases where it holds earlier than 30 days to the National Election.

Here is the summary of ten key provisions of the new Act signed by President Buhari.

  1. Clause 29(1) stipulates that parties must conduct primaries and submit their list of candidates at least 180 days before the general elections.
  2. Clause 65 states that INEC can review results declared under duress.
  3. Clause 3(3) states that funds for general elections must be released at least one year before the election.
  4. Clause 51 says that the total number of accredited voters will become a factor in determining over-voting at election tribunals.
  5. Clause 54(2) makes provisions for people with disabilities and special needs.
  6. Clause 47 gives legislative backing for smart card readers and any other voter accreditation technology that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) deploy.
  7. Clause 34 gives political parties power to conduct a primary election to replace a candidate who died during an election.
  8. Clause 50 gives INEC the legal backing for electronic transmission of election results.
  9. Clause 94 allows for early commencement of the campaign season. By this provision, the campaign season will now start 150 days to the election day and end 24 hours before the election.
  10. Clause 84 stipulates that anyone holding a political office – ministers, commissioners, special advisers and others – must relinquish the position before they can be eligible to participate in the electoral process either as a candidate or as a delegate.

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