The Senate on Tuesday amended the Electoral Act, 2022, to allow ‘statutory delegates’ – all those elected – to participate and vote in the conventions, congresses, or meetings of political parties. This followed the expeditious consideration of a bill during plenary which scaled first, second and third readings, respectively, and was passed by the lawmakers after consideration by the Committee of the Whole.
Those identified as ‘statutory delegates’ include the President, Vice President, members of the National Assembly, governors and their deputies, members of the State Houses of Assembly, chairmen of councils, councillors, and national working committee of political parties, amongst others. In his presentation, the Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege, who sponsored the ‘Bill to amend the 2022 Electoral Act No. 13,’ said it seeks to amend the provision of Section 84(8) of the law.
According to him, the provision of the section “does not provide for the participation of what is generally known as ‘statutory delegates’ in the conventions, congresses or meetings of political parties.” “The extant section only clearly provides for the participation of elected delegates in the conventions, congresses, or meetings of political parties held to nominate candidates of political parties. “This is an unintended error, and we can only correct it with this amendment now before us”, the Deputy Senate President said.
In his remarks after the bill was passed, the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, said the amendment became imperative in view of the deficiency created by the provision of section 84(8) of the extant Act.