Senate Legalises Live Transmission Of Polling Unit Results Use Of Only Card Reader, Sets Fees For Aspirants

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The Electoral Act No. 6, 2010 Amendment Bill 2017
passed recently by the senate makes it mandatory for use of card reader and
banned manual accreditation, when it becomes a law.
According to the amendment, House of Representatives
aspirants are now to pay N1,000,000 and those for State Assembly will pay
N500,000.
The law stated there shall now be full biometric
accreditation of voters with Smart Card Readers and/or other technological
devices, as may introduce for elections by the Independent Electoral Commission
(INEC).
It states that presiding officers must now instantly
transmit accreditation and results from polling units to various collation
centres.
“Presiding Officer who contravenes this shall be
imprisoned for at least 5 years (no option of fine).
“All presiding officers must now first record
accreditation data and polling results on INEC’s prescribed forms before
transmitting them. The data/result recorded must be the same with what they
transmitted.’’
According to the amendment, INEC has unfettered powers
to conduct elections by electronic voting.
Besides manual registers, INEC has been mandated to
keep electronic registers of voters.
“INEC is now mandated to publish Voters’ Registers on
its Official website(s) for public scrutiny at least 30 days before a general
election and any INEC staff who is responsible for this but fails to act as
prescribed shall be liable on conviction to 6 months imprisonment.
“INEC is now mandated to keep a National Electronic
Register of Election Results as a distinct database or repository of polling
unit by polling unit results for all elections conducted by INEC.
“ Collation of election result is now mainly
electronic, as transmitted unit results will help to determine final results on
real time basis.
“INEC is now mandated to record details of electoral
materials – quantities, serial numbers used to conduct elections (for proper
tracking),’’ the amendment stated.’’
The bill states that a political party whose candidate
dies after commencement of an election and before the declaration of the result
of that election now has a 14-day window to conduct a fresh primary in order
for INEC to conduct a fresh election within 21 days of the death of the party’s
candidate;
“Political Parties’ Polling Agents are now entitled to
inspect originals of electoral materials before commencement of election and
any Presiding Officer who violates this provision of the law shall be
imprisoned for at least 1 year.
“No Political Party can impose
qualification/disqualification criteria, measures or conditions on any Nigerian
for the purpose of nomination for elective offices, except as provided in the
1999 Constitution.
“The election of a winner of an election can no longer
be challenged on grounds of qualification, if he/she (winner) satisfied the
applicable requirements of sections 65, 106, 131 or 177 of the Constitution of
the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) and he is not, as may be
applicable, in breach of sections 66, 107, 137 or 182 of the Constitution of
the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999. [For example, a person’s election cannot
be challenged on the ground that he did not pay tax, as this is not a
qualifying condition under the Constitution.]
“All members of Political Parties are now eligible to
determine the Ad-Hoc Delegates to elect candidates of parties in indirect
primaries. The capacity of party executives to unduly influence or rig party
primaries has been reasonably curtailed, if not totally removed.
“Parties can no longer impose arbitrary nomination
fees on political aspirants. The Bill passed prescribes limits for each
elective offices.’’
Accordingly, the bill recommended N150,000 for a Ward
Councillorship aspirant in the FCT; and States; N250,000 for an Area Council
Chairmanship aspirant in the FCT; and Council Chairmanship in other LGAs of
States; and N500,000 for a House of Assembly aspirant.

It prescribed N1,000,000 for a House of
Representatives aspirant; N2,000,000 for a Senatorial aspirant; N5,000,000 for
a Governorship aspirant; and N10,000,000) for a Presidential aspirant.
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