The House of Representatives has denied reports of changes in the Electoral Act Amendment Bill.
Media reports on Sunday said some leaders of the National Assembly met in an Abuja hotel to fine-tune the proposed amendment to the bill.
The reports said some robust proposals and key priority amendments canvassed by Nigerians, including electronic transmission of results, campaign financing, financial independence of INEC and new timelines for submission of list of candidates, had been removed for the bill.
At the resumption of plenary on Tuesday, a member of the House, Ugonna Ozuruigbo (APC, Imo), raised a point of order on the alleged removal of some provisions of the bill.
Citing order 6 rule 2 (matters of privilege), Mr Ozuruigbo said his constituents had been calling him over the reports on the amendments.
“I don’t know how this speculation has been going around. My constituents have called my attention, citing what they referred to as undemocratic law,” he said.
The Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila, while reacting to the point of order, said he had spoken with the Chairman of the House Committee on Electoral Matters, Aisha Dukku (PDP, Gombe), who denied the alleged doctoring of the proposed amendments.
He said the House would only consider the recommendation of the committee, and nothing more.
He added that the House was committed to the passage of the bill before 14 July.
“I really don’t want to speak to a report that has not been submitted to this House. We have procedures that are time-tested. The committee has been given an assignment, they will do their work and present its report, and the House as a whole will vote on that report, clause by clause,” Mr Gbajabiamila said.
“Only the committee’s authentic report like it has always been, will take hold on the floor of the House, nothing more, nothing less. I have asked the chairman of that committee, she is not aware of any such. So it remains in the realm of speculations and we will be waiting until the committee submit its reports. Like I said that will be done before we close on the 14th.”
The Speaker then ruled that the point of order had been noted.
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