THE SENATE VETOES PRESIDENT BUHARI OVER ELECTORAL BILL

Nigeria Senate passes electoral act into law overriding the President
The Nigeria Senate has passed the Electoral Act No. 6 (2010 Amendment)
Bill 2017 into law overriding the assent of the president . The
amended act are as follows;
1. There shall now be full biometric accreditation of voters with
Smart Card Readers and/or other technological devices, as INEC may
introduce for elections from time to time.
2. Presiding Officers must now instantly transmit accreditation data
and results from Polling Units to various collation centers. Presiding
officer who contravene this shall be imprisoned for at least 5 years
(no option of fine).
3. All Presiding Officer must now first record accreditation data and
polling results on INEC’s prescribed forms before transmitting them.
The data/result recorded must be the same with what they transmitted.
4. INEC now has unfettered powers to conduct elections by electronic voting.
5. Besides manual registers, INEC is now mandated to keep Electronic
registers of voters.
6. INEC is now mandated to publish voters’ registers on its official
website(s) for public scrutiny at least 30 days before a general
election and any INEC staff who is responsible for this but fails to
act as prescribed shall be liable on conviction to 6 months’
imprisonment.
7. INEC is now mandated to keep a National Electronic Register of
Election Results as a distinct database or repository of polling unit
by polling unit results for all elections conducted by INEC.
8. Collation of election result is now mainly electronic, as
transmitted unit results will help to determine final results on real
time basis.
9. INEC is now mandated to record details of electoral materials –
quantities, serial numbers used to conduct elections (for proper
tracking).
10. A political party whose candidate dies after commencement of an
election and before the declaration of the result of that election now
has a 14-day window to conduct a fresh primary in order for INEC to
conduct a fresh election within 21 days of the death of the party’s
candidate;
11. Political parties’ Polling Agents are now entitled to inspect
originals of electoral materials before commencement of election and
any Presiding Officer who violates this provision of the law shall be
imprisoned for at least1 year.
12. No political party can impose qualification/
disqualification criteria, measures or conditions on any Nigerian for
the purpose of nomination for elective offices, except as provided in
the 1999 Constitution.
13. The election of a winner of an election can no longer be
challenged on grounds of qualification, if the he (winner) satisfied
the applicable requirements of sections 65, 106, 131 or 177 of the
Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) and
he is not, as may be applicable, in breach of sections 66, 107, 137 or
182 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999. [For
example, a person’s election cannot be challenged on the ground that
he did not pay tax, as this is not a qualifying condition under the
Constitution.]
14. All members of political parties are now eligible to determine the
ad-hoc delegates to elect candidates of parties in indirect primaries.
The capacity of party executives to unduly influence or rig party
primaries has been reasonably curtailed, if not totally removed.
15. Parties can no longer impose arbitrary nomination fees on
political aspirants. The Bill passed prescribes limits for each
elective office as follows:
(a) One Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira (N150,000) for a Ward
Councillorship aspirant in the FCT;
(b) Two Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira (N250,000) for an Area
Council Chairmanship aspirant in the FCT;
(c) Five Hundred Thousand Naira (N500,000) for a House of Assembly aspirant;
(d) One Million Naira (N1,000,000) for a House of Representatives aspirant;
(e) Two Million Naira (N2,000,000) for a Senatorial aspirant;
(f) Five Million naira (N5,000,000) for a Governorship aspirant; and
(g) Ten Million Naira (N10,000,000) for a Presidential aspirant.
16. Relying on the powers of the National Assembly in Paragraph 11 of
Part II (Concurrent Legislative List) of the Second Schedule
(Legislative Powers) to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of
Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), the Senate also passed measures reforming
procedures regulating Local Government Elections. State Independent
Electoral Commissions can no longer conduct elections that do not meet
minimum standards of credibility.
17. Any INEC official who disobeys a tribunal order for inspection of
electoral materials shall be imprisoned for 2 year.
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