The Upper Chambers of the National Assembly has corrected what it describes as ‘Fundamental Error” in the Electoral Act 2022 recently passed by the National Assembly and signed into law by President General Muhammadu Buhari
While political parties are close to conducting primaries to elect candidates for the 2023 general election, the Act does not allow members elected into public offices and executives of the parties, known as statutory delegates, to participate and vote in the conventions, congresses, or meetings of parties.
Without the provision by the law, Buhari; Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo; members of the National Assembly, governors and their deputies, members of the State Houses of Assembly, presiding officers of local government areas, councillors, executives of political parties, amongst others, would have been disenfranchised.
Resuming from break on Tuesday, the Senate amended Section 84(8) of the Act, passing the first, second, and third reading at a sitting.
The Deputy President of the Senate, Ovie Omo-Agege, who sponsored a bill to amend the Act, said the existing Section 84(8) of the Act “does not provide for the participation of what is generally known as ‘statutory delegates’ in the conventions, congresses or meetings of political parties.”
Omo-Agege added, “The extant section only clearly provides for the participation of elected delegates in the conventions, congresses, or meetings of political parties held to nominate candidates of political parties.
“This is an unintended error and we can only correct it with this amendment now before us.”
President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, in his remarks after the passage of the bill, said the amendment became necessary due to the deficiency created by the provision of Section 84(8) of the extant Act.
Meanwhile, the House of Representatives would on Wednesday, hold an emergency session to correct what it called a “fundamental error.”
Clerk to the House, Dr. Yahaya Danzaria, issued a notice on Tuesday, recalling members from recess to reconvene for plenary on Wednesday, though sitting was adjourned till May 24, 2022.
The notice read, “This is to inform all honourable members, staff, media, and the general public that the House hereby reconvenes for an emergency plenary session on Wednesday, May 11, 2022, at 11 am.
“This session has become essential especially as to amend a fundamental error in the Electoral Act.”