Nigerian Senate adopted the Electoral Acts Committee Report and has therefore passed the Electoral Act No. 6 2010 Amendment Bill 2017 into law

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Key points of the amendment include

1. Card Reader technology to be fully implemented henceforth. There shall now be full biometric accreditation of voters with Smart Card Readers and/or other technological devices, as INEC may introduce for elections from time to time.

2. Presiding Officers must now instantly transmit accreditation data and results from Polling Units to various collation centers. Presiding officer who contravene this shall be imprisoned for at least 5 years (no option of fine).

3. INEC now has unfettered powers to conduct elections by electronic voting.

4. Besides manual registers, 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.

5. A political party whose candidate dies after commencement of an election & before d declaration of d 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 d death of the party’s candidate;

6. 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.

7. 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.

8. Parties can no longer impose arbitrary nomination fees on political aspirants. The Bill passed prescribes limits for each elective office as follows:

(a) One Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira (N150,000) for a Ward Councillorship aspirant in the FCT;

(b) Two Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira (N250,000) for an Area Council Chairmanship aspirant in the FCT;

(c) Five Hundred Thousand Naira (N500,000) for a House of Assembly aspirant;

(d) One Million Naira (N1,000,000) for a House of Representatives aspirant;

(e) Two Million Naira (N2,000,000) for a Senatorial aspirant;

(f) Five Million naira (N5,000,000) for a Governorship aspirant; and

(g) Ten Million Naira (N10,000,000) for a Presidential aspirant.

9. Any INEC official who disobeys a tribunal order for inspection of electoral materials shall be imprisoned for 2 years!

-Oke Umurhohwo
@stalyf

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