Nigeria: Reps Seek to Abolish By-Elections

21 June 2021

Abuja — A law to repeal provisions in the 1999 constitution for by-elections into vacant seats at the Senate and House of Representatives is underway in the Green Chamber.

The piece of legislation exclusively obtained by Vanguard, entitled "An Act to amend section 68(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999", is sponsored by Kwewum Shawulu, PDP-Taraba.

The sponsor of the bill seeks to amend section 68(1) of the Constitution by adding a paragraph (I) immediately after the existing paragraph (h)", to read if "he dies during the continuance of his tenure or term of office, in which case, the independent National Electoral Commission shall not be required to conduct a by-election to fill the vacancy, but shall ask the political party which sponsored him at the main election, to nominate and forward to it a replacement for the deceased member of the Senate or of the House of Representatives."

For the case of representation at 36 State Houses of Assembly, the piece of legislation also seeks to achieve same.

The bill also amends section 109(1) to read: "If he dies during the continuance of his tenure or term of office, in which case the Independent National Electoral Commission shall not be required to conduct a by-election to fill the vacancy, but shall ask the political party which sponsored him at the main election to nominate and forward to it, a replacement for the deceased member of the State House of Assembly."

The sponsor of the piece of legislation in an interview with Vanguard, said: "The amendments will save INEC and the public a lot of cost. This is what even INEC itself, wants.

"It is ideal to allow political parties the benefit to nominate replacements for people who may have died in the course of their representation or some other circumstance."

Vanguard News Nigeria

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