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AT A GLANCE: 12 clauses in electoral bill where senate, reps differed

AT A GLANCE: 12 clauses in electoral bill where senate, reps differed
October 27
09:13 2021

Two weeks ago, the senate and the house of representatives revisited the electoral act amendment bill they had earlier passed.

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This was prompted by an outrage that stemmed from the version passed by the senate in July.

While the house of representatives had adopted the electronic transmission of electoral results “where practicable”, the senate empowered the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to determine where the use of electoral transmission of results could be used.

Many Nigerians condemned the provision and asked the senate to adopt the same position as the lower legislative chamber.

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Following the outrage, the senate empowered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to determine the mode through which election results could be transmitted.

Both chambers also adopted direct primary for all political parties in picking their candidates for any election.

Apart from disagreeing on the mode of transmitting election results, there are other areas where the lower and upper legislative chambers differed on the electoral bill.

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Here are some differences in the bills passed by the house and senate, as collated by Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre (PLAC).

Clause House of representatives Senate
1

Establishment
of Independent
National
Electoral
Commission

 

(1) The Independent
National Electoral
Commission as
established by the
constitution (in this
Bill referred to as “the
commission”)
(1) The Independent
National Electoral
Commission as
established by section
153 of the constitution
(in this Bill referred to as
“the commission”)
5

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Annual
estimates and
accounts.

 

The Commission shall
keep proper accounts
and records in respect
of each financial
year and shall cause
its accounts to be
audited as soon as
possible after the end
of each financial year
as required by law.
(1) The Commission
shall submit to the
Ministry of Finance not
later that 31st of August
in each financial year,
and estimate of its
expenditure, income and
payments during the next
financial year.
(2) The Commission shall
keep proper accounts
and records in respect of
each financial year and
shall cause its accounts
to be audited as soon as
possible after the end of
each financial year by the
Auditor-General of the
Federation.
15

Power to
print or issue
Register of
Voters

The Commission
shall cause a voters’
register for each
State to be printed,
reproduced, copied,
duplicated or saved in
electronic format and
any person or political
party may obtain from
the Commission, on
payment of such fees
as may be determined
by the Commission, a
certified copy of any
voters’ register for the
State or for a Local
Government or Area
Councilor registration
area within it
The Commission shall
cause a voters’ register
for each State to be
printed, reproduced,
copied, duplicated
or saved in electronic
format and any person or
political party may obtain
from the Commission,
on payment of such fees
as may be determined
by the Commission, a
certified copy of any
voters’ register for the
State or for a Local
Government or Area
Council or registration
area polling units within
it
16

Power to print
or issue voters
card.

(3) Any person
who contravenes
subsection (2) commits
an offence and is
liable on conviction,
to a fine not more
than N100,000.00 or
imprisonment for a
term not more than
one year or both
(3) Any person who
contravenes subsection
(2) commits an offence
and is liable on
conviction, to a fine not
more than N500,000.00
or imprisonment for a
term not more than one
year or both
35

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Death of a
candidate

Provided that in the
case of Presidential
or gubernatorial
or Federal Capital
Territory Area Council
election, the running
mate shall continue
with the election
and nominate a new
running mate
Provided that in the
case of Presidential or
gubernatorial election,
the running mate will
continue with the election
and nominate a new
running mate.
42

Ballot boxes
and voting
devices

(3) The Polling Agents
shall be entitled to
be present at the
distribution of the
election materials
from the office to the
polling booth
(3) The Polling Agents
shall be entitled to be
present at the distribution
of the election materials
and voting devices from
the office to the polling
booth
48

Accreditation
of voters and
voting

2) To vote, the
Presiding Officer
shall use a smart card
reader that may be
prescribed by the
Commission, for the
accreditation of voters,
to verify, confirm
or authenticate the
particulars of the
intending voter in the
manner prescribed by
the Commission.
(3) Where a smart card
reader deployed for
accreditation of voters
fails to function in
any unit and a fresh
card reader is not
deployed, the election
in that unit shall be
cancelled and another election shall be
scheduled within 24
hours:
Provided that the
result of the election
in that polling unit will
substantially affect
the final result of the
whole election and
declaration of a winner
in the Constituency
concerned
(2) To vote, the Presiding
Officer shall use a smart
card reader or any other
technological device
that may be prescribed
by the Commission,
for the accreditation
of voters, to verify,
confirm or authenticate
the particulars of the
intending voter in the
manner prescribed by the
Commission.
(3) Where a smart
card reader or any
other technological
device deployed for
accreditation of voters
fails to function in any
unit and a fresh card
reader or technological
device is not deployed, the election in that unit
shall be cancelled and
another election shall
be scheduled within 24
hours.
If the commission
is satisfied that the
result of the election
in that polling unit will
substantially affect the
final result of the whole
election and declaration
of a winner in the
Constituency concerned
49

Right to
challenge
issue of ballot
paper

A candidate or a
Polling Agent may
challenge the right of
a person to vote on
such grounds and in
accordance with such
procedures as are
provided for
A candidate or a Polling
Agent may challenge the
right of a person to vote
on the ground that the
person is not a registered
voter in the polling unit.
51

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Conduct of
poll by open
secret ballot

(2) Voting at an election
under this Bill shall be
in accordance with the
procedure determined by
the Commission, which
may include electronic
voting.
(3) The Commission
may consider electronic
transmission of results,
provided that the national
coverage is adjudged
to be adequate and
secured by the Nigerian
Communications
Commission (NCC) and
approved by the National
Assembly
(2) Voting at an
election and
transmission of result
under this Bill shall be
in accordance with the
procedure determined
by the Commission
61

Counting of
votes in forms

(6) A Presiding
Officer who wilfully
contravenes any
provision of this
section commits an
offence and is liable
on conviction to a (fine not more than
N100,000.00 or
imprisonment for a
term of at least six
months
6) A Presiding Officer
who wilfully contravenes
any provision of this
section commits an
offence and is liable on
conviction to a fine not more than N500,000.00
or imprisonment for
a term of at least six
months
74

Forms for use
at elections

3) A Presiding Officer
who intentionally
announces or signs
any election result in
violation of subsection
(2) commits an offence
and is liable on
conviction to a fine
of N200,000.00 or
imprisonment for a
term of at least one
year or both
(3) A Presiding Officer
who intentionally
announces or signs any
election result in violation
of subsection (2) commits
an offence and is liable
on conviction to a fine
of N1,000,000.00 or
imprisonment for a term
of at least one year or
both
85

 

(1) A political party
seeking to nominate
candidates for elections
under this Bill shall hold
direct primaries for
aspirants to all elective
positions, which may
be monitored by the
Commission.
(2) The procedure for
the nomination of
candidates by political
parties for the various
elective positions shall
be by direct primaries.
(9) Notwithstanding
the provisions of this
Bill or rules of a political
party, an aspirant who
complains that any of
the provisions of this
Bill and the guidelines
of his political party
has not been complied
with in the selection or
nomination of a candidate of the
political party for
election, may apply for
redress to the Federal
High Court of State
or FCT within whose
terrirtorial jurisdiction
the election was
conducted
(1) A political party seeking
to nominate candidates
for elections under this Act
shall hold direct or indirect
primaries for aspirants
to all elective positions,
which may be monitored
by the Commission.
(2) The procedure for the
nomination of candidates
by political parties for the
various elective positions
shall be by direct or
indirect primaries.
(9) Notwithstanding the
provisions of this Bill
or rules of a political
party, an aspirant who
complains that any of
the provisions of this Bill
and the guidelines of his
political party has not
been complied with in the
selection or nomination of
a candidate of the political party for election, may
apply for redress to the
Federal High Court

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