Senate passes bill to allow statutory delegates vote at party congresses, conventions

Ahmad Lawan, senate president Ahmad Lawan, senate president

The senate has passed a bill seeking to enable statutory delegates to vote at the congresses or conventions of political parties.

The upper legislative chamber passed the bill for third reading after Ovie Omo-Agege, deputy senate president and its sponsor, led a debate on it.

The legislation passed first, second and third reading within an hour.

While leading the debate on it on the floor of the senate on Tuesday, Omo-Agege said the electoral bill assented to by President Muhammadu Buhari in February only recognises ad hoc delegates.


The deputy senate president said the error on the part of the national assembly was not “intended”.

“The issue here is narrowed and very straightforward. Section 84 subsection 8 of the electoral act does not provide for the participation of what is generally known as statutory delegates in the conventions, congresses or meetings of political parties,” he said.

“Section 84 (8) provides for the participation of elected delegates in the conventions, congresses or meetings of political parties held to nominate candidates.


“This was an unintended error and it can only be corrected with this amendment.”

Speaking after the bill was passed, Senate President Ahmad Lawan said it is expected that the president signs the amendment bill into law.

“The electoral act has a deficiency that was never intended and that deficiency will deny all statutory delegates in all political parties from participating in congresses and conventions,” Lawan said.

“Our expectation is that the national assembly will finish the processing of this amendment between today and tomorrow and the executive will do the assent within the week.


“It is important to enable every statutory delegate to vote.”

Read TheCable’s explainer on how delegates are picked and the role they play here.

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