Electoral Act Amendment: 20 Controversial Clauses Inserted By Senate – Rep
The 20 controversial clauses, including one that removed electronic transmission of election results, found in the Electoral Act Amendment Bill were inserted at the Senate, a member of the House of Representatives has said.
Hon. Mark Gbillah, who represents Gwer East/Gwer West constituency in Benue State, stated this Thursday during an appearance on Arise News.
He said that the Chairman of the House Committee that worked on the Electoral Act Amendment Bill told the House that she was not aware of any change in the initial harmonised version from both chambers.
Recall that another controversial clause in the bill raised the spending limit for a presidential candidate from N1 billion to N15 billion.
Also, the spending limit for governorship, senatorial, House of Representatives and House of Assembly candidates also rose by 1,500 per cent.
Many civil society and political stakeholders slammed the raising of the spending limits, saying it amounted to setting up the nation’s elections to be bought by the highest bidder.
Reacting, Gbillah said that the controversial clauses were introduced when the House version of the Bill got to the Senate.
“On the issue of the Electoral Act, I want to appeal to the Senate because we have come to discover it is where the insertions came from.
“At a recent meeting the chairman of the House committee told our colleagues that she is not aware of any change to the initial harmonised version from both chambers.
“But obviously, there is an insertion and I can confirm that about 20 clauses, and it is alleged that it was inserted at the Senate version.
“We are at a point in our country where we should not be playing politics with this issue. I wonder why people think they are going to stay in power perpetually.
“The world is moving forward and we are still deliberating on electronic transmission of results, something that is a foregone issue in other nations.
“We, in the PDP, are insisting the provision of electronic transmission is sacrosanct and we suspect that those sections were intentionally inserted so that the ability to manipulate and rig the forthcoming elections would be possible. It is unfortunate and we are going to resist it,” Gbillah said.