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Senate begins Electoral Act amendment

The Senate on Tuesday began consideration of a bill to amend Nigeria’s Electoral Act.

The Bill which scaled Second Reading is For an Act to Amend the Electoral Act (No.6), 2010.

According to the Sponsors, Senators Ovie Omo-Agege (APC, Delta Central) and Abubakar Kyari (APC, Borno North), the bill which has 26 clauses seeks to amend the Electoral Act to strengthen and protect Nigeria’s democracy, as well as “cure specific mischiefs plaguing our (Nigeria’s) elections and electoral processes.”

Leading the debate on the bill, Omo-Agege said though the process under the eighth Senate was fraught with mutual suspicions and bitterness, electoral reform for the ninth National Assembly remains a priority in its legislative agenda.

The Deputy Senate President added that the Bill to amend the Electoral Act seeks to enact a new Section 87 on the Nomination of Candidates by Parties for Elections by prescribing maximum fees payable by aspirants and restricting nomination criteria strictly to relevant provisions.

The bill, according to him, also seeks to make clarification under Section 38(1)(a) of the principal Act which states that “a person shall be deemed to be qualified for an elective office and his election shall not be questioned on grounds of qualification if, with respect to the particular election in question, he meets the applicable requirements of Sections 65, 107, 137 or 182 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999”.

The amendment to the Electoral Act will also provide sanctions for giving false information for purpose of registering a political party and ensure that failure by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and others to comply with any provision of the Act carries clear and adequate sanctions.

The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, after consideration of the bill, referred same to the Committee on INEC for further legislative work.

Meanwhile, a total of ten bills scaled first reading during plenary on Wednesday.

The bills are: Federal Polytechnic Akpabuyo, Cross River State (Est.) Bill, 2019 (SB. 177) by Senator Bassey Gershom Henry (Cross River South); Electoral Act No.6 2010 (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (SB. 179) by Senator Moro Patrick Abba (Benue South); Trade Mark Act CAP T13 LFN 2004 (Repeal & Re-enactment) Bill, 2019 (SB.180) by Senator Shettima Kashim (Borno Central), and Police Act CAP P19 LFN 2004 (Repeal & Re-enactment) Bill, 2019 (SB. 181) by Senator Jika Dauda (Bauchi Central).

Other bills are: Police Academy (Est.) Bill, 2019 (SB. 182) by Senator Jika Dauda Haliru (Bauchi Central); Investment and Security Act CAP 124 LFN 2004 (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (SB. 183) by Senator Amosun Ibikunle Oyelaja (Ogun Central); 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (Alteration) Bill, 2019 (SB. 184) by Senator Ekwunife Uche Lilian (Anambra Central).

Others are Institute of Aviation Safety and Management Mbosi, Anambra State (Est.) Bill, 2019 (SB. 186) by Senator Ubah, Ifeanyi Patrick (Anambra South); Constituency Development Catalyst Fund (Est.) Bill, 2019 (SB. 187) by Senator Buhari Abdulfatai (Oyo North); National Food Reserve Agency (Est.) Bill, 2019 (SB. 189) and by Senator Adamu Abdullahi (Nasarawa West).

Sunday Olatunji
Dele Fashomi, seasoned journalist and communication teacher, is a holder of Master of Arts degree in Communication and Language Arts from the University of Ibadan in 1992/93. Earlier, he had bagged a Bachelor degree from the same university in 1984, after which he proceeded to the Nigerian Institute of Journalism, Lagos, in 1990, for a postgraduate diploma in Journalism. He had done many courses in communication, including the EU-BBC Editing Course in 2002. Mr. Fashomi combines effectively the practice, research and teaching of communication. And to date, he has published two academic works in communication: Issues in Communication Technology and Policy (2010) and Economic and Social Issues in Advertising and PR (2013). He had his first break in the Nigerian media in Concord Newspapers in 1990 and today, he has over two and half decades experience earned in several newspapers. He has been part of many start-ups, such as The Republic (1987), The Comet (1999), The Anchor 2001 - 2002; Sun Newspapers (2003); Westerner newsmagazine (2005 - 2010) as Editor; National Life (2011) as Sunday Editor, and Newswatch Newspapers (2012- 2016) as Daily Editor. Dele Fashomi is now the Publisher/Editor-in-Chief of Newstide247.com newspaper online, which he started in July 2015. He is also into biography writing, with many books in his trail, some of which he wrote alone and one he co- authored with his mentor, Mr Dare Babarinsa, entitled:  Olabiyi Durojaiye - DARE TO BE DiFFERENT. He also guided and collaborated with Pa Olatunji Odusanya in writing his autobiography - AGAINST ALL ODDS. There are many other books in the works under his pen.
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