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Senate Passes INEC Act 2010 Amendment Bill For 2nd Reading

The Senate Wednesday passed for second reading the Independent National Electoral Commission Act 2010 amendment bill which seeks to strengthen the country's electoral process. This is the fourth attempt by the lawmakers to amend the bill which has serially been rejected by the President on the grounds of inconsistency with the constitution.

 

Chairman Senate Committee on INEC, Senator Suleiman Nazif, who presented the committee's report during today's plenary, said the current amendment will address all issues raised by President Muhammadu Buhari which led to him withholding assent thrice. However, some lawmakers; Sen Kabiru Marafa and Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu speaking respectively raised some objections to some of the provision in the proposed amendment bill, while calling for a review.

 

Our Correspondent, Raliat Adenekan report Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, ruling on the matter directed the committee on INEC to re-work the proposed amendment bill and report back next-week Tuesday for further legislative action.

 

Similarly, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Yakubu Dogara, has stated that the House of Representatives would resist any further attempt to frustrate the enactment of the Electoral Act Amendment Billl as failure to do so would be indicative of a desire not to improve on the successes recorded in the 2015 elections.

 

Delivering a speech to mark the resumption of the House from its annual recess at the National Assembly, Hon Dogara said the passage of the Bill is also important in order to quell fears that some forces intend to manipulate the forthcoming elections by exploiting identified loopholes in the Electoral Act currently in force.

 

He explained that the new Electoral Act amendment Bill has provisions that are designed to guarantee free, fair and transparent elections in Nigeria, entrenches the Smart Card Reader and electronic transmission of results, among others. The Speaker also added that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Supplementary budget Bill must also be accorded expeditious consideration.

 

Meanwhile, the Senate has confirmed the appointment of Mr Muiz Banire as Chairman of the Governing Board of the Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) and the appointment of Mr Folashodun Adebisi Shonubi as the Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). The Senate also swore in Ahmad Babba Kaita and Lawan Yahaya Gumau as members representing Katsina-North and Bauchi-South Senatorial Districts, respectively.

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