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Tuesday, 6 March 2018

NASS Goofed At Reordering INEC’s Timetable –Constitutional Lawyer

NASS Goofed At Reordering INEC’s Timetable –Constitutional Lawyer

Lawyer with wig

An Osun State based constitutional lawyer, Mr. Bola Ige has lashed out at the National Assembly for proposing a reordering of the general elections sequence in the country, saying that it lacked the power to alter policies made by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Members of the National Assembly in an attempt to implement the amendment to the Electoral Act 2010 carried out proposed alterations to the sequence of the general elections in 2019 and beyond.

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By the amendment, the National Assembly election will be conducted first, followed by state Houses of Assembly elections and governorship elections, while the presidential election will be conducted last.

The amendment to Section 25 of the Electoral Act, which was substituted with Section 25 (1) has been adopted by a joint session of the electoral committees of both chambers of the National Assembly and is expected to be passed by the plenary sessions before transmission to the president for assent.

According to the amended version, the elections shall be held in the following order: National Assembly elections; State Houses of Assembly and Governorship elections; and Presidential election on separate days.

But Barrister Ige while featuring on a programme on the Osun State Broadcasting Corporation in Osogbo at the weekend argued that the federal lawmakers goofed by trying to alter the status quo, saying that the National Assembly is acting beyond its power.

“I have no apology to say that the National Assembly is acting beyond its power. The power of INEC is not subjected to Senate’s. I disagree with Senate in trying to reorder the sequence of elections. It is absurd, it is inconsistent and inconsequential.

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“The whole essence of the sequence change is for these lawmakers to skew the timetable in their favour. Some of them are afraid of losing their seats, so they are reordering the election sequence in order to have good footing. It is unfortunate that our political players are the ones soiling the image of Nigeria, not the political system,” Ige said.

On the newly released timetable of elections in the country by INEC, Ige said that the 36 years span timetable is a good development to the nation’s Democratic system.

According to him, INEC has the constitutional backing to make such step and that there was nothing wrong in attempting a new phenomenon like the new election timetable.

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