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TheCable

Electoral bill to be sent to Buhari for assent as reps approve conference committee report

Electoral bill to be sent to Buhari for assent as reps approve conference committee report
November 09
16:45 2021

The house of representatives has approved the conference committee report on the electoral act amendment bill.

The development comes a few hours after the senate approved the report on the bill.

The report was approved on Tuesday at the green chamber after Akeem Adeyemi, chairman of the conference committee, moved a motion that the report considered.

Before the report was adopted, Ndudi Elumelu, the minority leader of the house, protested that he and other lawmakers ought to have a copy of the bill.

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“Members deserve to have a copy. I deserve to have a copy as the minority leader so that when consideration is being made, I will be able to make my contribution,” he said.

“We never supported that consideration, because it was erroneously carried. We walked out because of it. I do not have a copy; to be sure of what was passed. There is no need to rush.”

But responding, Femi Gbajabiamila, speaker of the house, acknowledged Elumelu’s concerns, but said the considerations would be read out.

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“Under normal circumstances, you have a right, but this is a harmonisation committee,” he said.

“There are just a few issues; two of them were recommitted. The chairman, Adeyemi, is here. He will read it to you for your understanding and we will give you time to digest it.

“The electoral act is something we have to do. We are turning a little late. Nigerians have been asking for this thing since June. We are trying to do it thoroughly and properly, and we have delayed up until now.”

TheCable had reported how the electoral bill was passed by the lower chamber in July — after the PDP caucus staged a walkout.

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In the conference committee report, both chambers of the national assembly empowered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to determine the best mode to transmit election results — either electronically or manually where practicable.

Both chambers also approved that all political parties must use the direct primary mode in picking candidates.

Now that the house of representatives has joined the senate to approve the report, a clean copy will be produced by the clerk of the national assembly and sent to the president.

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