A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Olisa Agbakoba, has called on the National Assembly to override President Muhammadu Buhari and pass the Electoral Act Amendment Bill, 2018.
He argued that the reason the president gave for not signing the bill was not tenable.
The president had, while rejecting the bill, for the fourth time, said signing the document could cause a disruption in the 2019 election.
But dismissing the reason, Agbakoba declared: “Distinguished and Honourable Members of NASS are please urged to override Mr. President and enact 2018 Electoral Act.”
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In his advice to the National Assembly as contained in his letter dated December 10, 2018, he said: “It will be recalled that the Supreme Court declared use of Smart Cards as contrary to the Electoral Act 2010, so the 2018 amendment is intended to give INEC a legal basis to use Smart Cards and Electronic Technology.”
He stated further: “The 2018 bill also introduced the extremely important procedure of transmitting results of votes from Polling Units by electronic means. Electronic transmission will remove rigging and enhance the credibility of the Vote Count.
“INEC says it is familiar with the amendments contained in the 2018 Electoral Bill. INEC has used smart cards at all elections from 2015. INEC has submitted an election budget which provides for Smart Cards and transmission equipment.
“The President claims that part of the reason for withholding Assent, is that INEC will not have enough time to become familiar with the 2018 Bill and that a new Act will generate confusion. This is simply incorrect and flies in the face of INEC’s announcement that it will not use incident forms or manual voting in 2019 elections.”