House Of Reps Empowers INEC To Deploy Troops During Election

 

Ahead of the 2015 general elections, the House of Representatives has amended Section 29 (1) of the Electoral Act in order to bestow on the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, exclusive powers to demand the deployment of troops during elections.

The development came after some members of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, led by house deputy leader, Leo Ogor, failed in an attempt to delete the amendment under Section 29, clause 8 of the Electoral Act No. 6, 2010.

Members of the lower chamber took the decision to empower INEC at House plenary while voting on the report to amend the Electoral Act.

The Deputy Speaker of the House, Emeka Ihedioha who presided over proceedings, however, noted that the power of the President to deploy soldiers in situations like election is in conformity with the 1999 Constitution as amended as well as Section 8 of the Armed Forces Act.




     

     

    In view of the controversies surrounding the use of the military during the Ekiti and Osun elections, if the amendment is eventually signed into law, the deployment of troops during subsequent elections would basically at the request of the commission, which will put to rest further contentious issues.

    The amended Section 29 (1) states that: Notwithstanding the provisions of any other law and for the purposes of securing the vote, the commission shall be responsible for requesting for the deployment of relevant security personnel necessary for elections or registration of voters and shall assign them in the manner determined by the commission in consultation with the relevant security agencies.

    ” Provided that the commission shall request for the deployment of the Nigerian Armed Forces only for the purpose of securing the distribution and delivery of electoral materials”.

    Following the protest on clause 9, the House, however, put on hold voting on the report of the amendment of the Electoral Act.

     

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