OrderPaperToday – Senator Kabir Gaya, Chairman, Senate Committee on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has confirmed that the electoral amendment bill will be passed by the second quarter of 2021.
Senator Gaya revealed that the electoral amendment bill is at the final stage of third reading and all necessary concurrence between the Senate and the House of Representatives have been duly observed, nothing that the leadership of the legislature is committed to passing it and the Petroleum Industrial Bill (PIB).
The erstwhile Governor of Kano State, who was a Channels TV guest, also reacted to former President Goodluck Jonathan’s concerns on the sanctity of the ballot and the anomaly of courts deciding who wins elections or not.
Senator Kabir Gaya confirmed that the concerns of the former President were adequately addressed in the amended electoral bill.
“I have seen situations where a political party does not have a candidate yet goes to the ballot, wins the elections and up till date are still jostling over who will be the candidate of the party. I think that is wrong,“ he said.
The senator further revealed that the amended electoral bill provides for political parties to settle all pre-election matters including candidates selection 180 days before elections. The amendment also limits the courts to 180 days in its settling of pre-election matters.
He reiterated that the courts do not need to decide for Nigerians who the candidates of a political party should be, noting that the Senate in conjunction with the House of Representatives Committee on INEC was preparing an electoral offence commission bill that would take care of all electoral offences.
According to the senator the electoral offences bill when passed will proffer punishment for political parties who submit the name of an unqualified candidate to the tune of N50 million.