A coalition of civil societies has mentioned it uncovered a recent plot by some lawmakers within the National Assembly to frustrate the Electoral Bill and foist a cul-de-sac model of the invoice on Nigerians forward of the 2023 normal elections.
The group referred to as on Nigerians, political events, civil societies, the media, market ladies and Nigerian college students to cease the lawmakers from finishing up the conspiracy.
The group disclosed these on Thursday in Abuja at a press convention themed, “CUL-DE-SAC? The plot to trap the Electoral Bill in the mines of delay.”
The CSOs embrace; the Center For Liberty, Raising New Voices Initiative, Ready-to-Lead Africa, Speak out Africa, Project Vote Initiative, The Nigerian Alliance, The Art and Civics Center, CDNDC, Adopt-A-Goal Initiative and Free Nigeria Movement.
Speaking on behalf of the coalition, Dare Ariyo-Atoye, mentioned the fallout of the Section 52 (2) of the Senate model of the Electoral Bill on Electronic Transmission of Results was to set off an govt veto and trigger the invoice to be returned to the National Assembly, by which period the National Assembly could be busy attending to the Appropriation Act.
He added that the weather behind the plan had been to make sure the insertion of a clause that’s in clear violation of the 1999 Constitution and to prevail on the Attorney General of the Federation to impress it on the President to not signal the invoice as a result of it contravenes the structure.
Atoye defined that the purpose of their conspiracy was to create an executive-legislative fiasco within the first section, after which from subsequent 12 months, throw the electoral reform matter into the murky water of politics together with making it an object of North-South divide.
Atoye mentioned, “Since the Independent National Electoral Commission and the overriding legal opinions have confirmed the Senate version of Section 52 (2) of the Electoral Bill passed is in clear violation of the 1999 Constitution (FRN-aa), why is the Senate, at this crucial juncture, not avoiding clauses and provisions that could trigger an executive veto or create a constitutional crisis?
“A joint committee of the National Assembly had agreed to a bill that in Section 52 (2) gave INEC the exclusive power to transmit results as at when practicable. But like a thief in the night, the Senate version was doctored ahead of presentation and clause by clause adoption, and the country is yet to recover from this unpatriotic conduct.
“One of the CSOs partners, Adopt A Goal for Development Initiative, had through their legal representative issued a 14-day ultimatum to the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) to retract the statement its agents made to the House of Representatives which downplayed Nigeria’s capacity to transmit election results electronically. But curiously in their reply, the NCC said, “We are currently investigating your allegations and we shall respond in due time.”
“Unfortunately, this is identical NCC that Senate is constitutionally mandated to clear INEC earlier than outcomes could be transmitted electronically. Also, recall that the Senate didn’t deem it match to ask the NCC and INEC and had progressed into this authorized error a day earlier than the NCC was invited by the House.
“Why is the Senate insisting on taking the trail of illegality when INEC has mentioned it has the capability to transmit elections outcomes? Why will an NCC consultant make false claims within the House of Representatives when the INEC and NCC Joint Technical committee on Electronic Transmission of Result had discovered that cellular community adequately lined 93% of polling models? Why is the Senate ignoring information and thinking about sticking to an unconstitutional proposal?”