As political parties get set to hold their national conventions, the Senate has passed a bill seeking to enable statutory delegates vote at the congresses or conventions of political parties.
The legislation which was sponsored by Deputy Senate president Ovie Omo-Agege passed the first, second and third reading within an hour.
The Senate passed the bill for the third reading after Omo-Agege led a debate on it.
While leading the debate on it on the floor of the Senate on Tuesday, Omo-Agege said the electoral bill assented to by President Muhammadu Buhari in February only recognises ad hoc delegates.
The deputy senate president said the error on the part of the national assembly was not “intended”.
“The issue here is narrowed and very straightforward. Section 84 subsection 8 of the electoral act does not provide for the participation of what is generally known as statutory delegates in the conventions, congresses or meetings of political parties,” he said.
“Section 84 (8) provides for the participation of elected delegates in the conventions, congresses or meetings of political parties held to nominate candidates.
“This was an unintended error and it can only be corrected with this amendment.”
Speaking after the bill was passed, Senate President Ahmad Lawan said it is expected that the president signs the amendment bill into law.
“The electoral act has a deficiency that was never intended and that deficiency will deny all statutory delegates in all political parties from participating in congresses and conventions,” Lawan said
“Our expectation is that the national assembly will finish the processing of this amendment between today and tomorrow and the executive will do the assent within the week.
“It is important to enable every statutory delegate to vote.”