Electoral Bill 2020 to empower INEC on use of card reader

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The controversy sorrounding the countru’s election may be a thing of the pass, should the Electoral Bill 2020 scale through the National Assembly and assented to by the President.

Rep Aishatu Dukku, Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and Political Parties Matters, said on Tuesday that the Bill if passed will further empower the commission.

She said that INEC would now be validly empowered by law to use card reader and other technologies to conduct elections.

Dakku, who sponsored the bill, spoke while briefing newsmen on Tuesday in Abuja.

She said that card reader would be used for accreditation while other appropriate technologies would be used to transmit results.

The lawmaker said that it was expedient to amend the electoral law in other to deepen the nation’s democracy, adding that the bill would also help to regulate the Federal, State and local government polls.

According to her, the amendment has become necessary because of the flaws observed in the nation’s elections, noting that there are some lacuna in the current law that needed to be amended.

“A case in point is when a candidate dies when the election is almost concluded like it happened in Kogi governorship election in 2016,” she said.

Recall that the Governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr Abubakar Audu, died while the election result was about to be announced.

Dakku said that the Senate, House of Representatives, the judiciary and the Federal Executive Council (FEC) were on the same page with the new electoral bill.

She said this was to forestall a repeat of what happened during the Eighth National Assembly (NASS) when President Muhammadu Buhari refused to give his assent to the electoral bill.

She said that the current NASS was poised to produce a clean copy of electoral bill, adding that after the second reading, the bill would be subjected to public hearing for Nigerians to have input.

Dakku said that the public would be carried along to reduce the time spent on working on the bill.

She said that the 2020 electoral bill stipulated a maximum of N5 billion that could be spent by a presidential candidate and N1 billion by a governorship candidate.

Also, N100 million and N70 million for senatorial and House of Representatives candidates respectively.

Dakku said N30 million was the limit to be spent by a chairmanship candidate and N5 million by a councillorship candidate.

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