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Omo-Agege introduces new electoral bill

Why APC banished Sen Omo-Agege, wants him arrested

Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege, on Monday, said he had introduced a bill for comprehensive amendment of the Electoral Act No. 6 of 2010.

Omo-Agege said this at the Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room Stakeholders Forum on Elections organised by the coalition of more than 70 civil societies in Abuja.

He said the bill, co-sponsored with Senator Abubakar Kyari of Borno North Senatorial District, was now making its way to public hearing, having scaled Second Reading with overwhelming bipartisan support in the Senate.

The deputy senate president explained that the bill was a decisive response to a plethora of the Supreme Court’s decision inviting the National Assembly to make sensible amendments to the Electoral Act.

“The proposed Bill to amend the Electoral Act would focus on resolving issues surrounding INEC’s introduction of modern technologies into the electoral process, particularly accreditation of voters,” he said.

According to the lawmaker, the bill would provide greater clarity and transparency in the process of reaching the final announcement of election results, starting with sorting of ballots, counting of votes among others.

Omo-Agege said that the bill would mandate INEC to publish the Voters’ Register for public scrutiny at every Registration Area and on its website, at least seven days before a general election.

He added that it also mandates INEC to suspend an election in order to allow a political party that losses its candidate before or during an election to conduct a fresh primary to elect a replacement or new candidate.

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He said the bill would grant agents of political parties the right to inspect original electoral materials before the commencement of election, define over-voting to include situations where “total votes cast also exceed total number of accredited voters.”

Omo-Agege said the bill would mandate INEC to record and keep relevant detailed information of results sheets, ballot papers and other sensitive electoral materials used in an election, with clear consequences for violation.

He said the bill also provided sanctions for giving false information on registration of a political party, and that failure by INEC and others to comply with any provision of the Act carried clear and adequate sanctions.

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