- Independent National Electoral Commission says the only reason it would implement the amended Electoral Act is if President Buhari signed it
- Nigerian Senate had adopted the conference committee report on the Electoral Act 2010 (amendment) bill, which alters the sequence of conducting elections
- INEC also said it does not intends to file a legal suit to challenge the adoption by the Senate
Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has revealed that the implementation of the amended Electoral Act depends on the assent of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Solomon Soyebi, INEC's national commissioner, voter education and publicity, disclosed this on Thursday, February 15, during his appearance on Channels Television
The Senate had adopted the conference committee report on the Electoral Act 2010 (amendment) bill. The report had altered the sequence in which elections are conducted in Nigeria.
The lawmakers had changed the order of election in which presidential and national assembly elections were held (on the same day) before other polls, while the governorship and State Houses of Assembly elections follow.
They amended the sequence such that the National Assembly polls would be conducted first, followed by the state lawmakers, and the governors while the presidential election should take place last.
When he was asked on the possibility of implementing the order of election by INEC in the 2019 general elections, Soyebi said: “Unfortunately, yes, if the amendment becomes a law now.
“If it’s assented to by the President, it becomes a law. We have no basis to disobey the law; we have to work within the law as it is.”
He also claimed that INEC will not challenge the change of election order by the Senate
“There is no iota of truth in that,” he said.
He insisted that INEC operates within the ambit of the law.
“Everybody has a role to play in the governance of Nigeria, ours is just to conduct elections and we have nothing to do with the making of the law. So, if the law is made today, we are just there to obey it,” he said.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had reported that a report by This Day newspaper suggested that the presidency had put in place an elaborate plan to frustrate the implementation of the amendment to the Electoral Act 2010 that has proposed alterations to the sequence of the general elections in 2019 and beyond.
The amendment to Section 25 of the Electoral Act, which was substituted with Section 25 (1) was adopted by a joint session of the electoral committees of both chambers of the National Assembly and is expected to be passed by their plenaries before transmission to the president for assent.
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