The moves to address the lacuna created by the death of Prince Abubakar Audu during the last Kogi State governorship election, yesterday, stalled the amendment of the Electoral Act at the Senate.
The chairman of the Senate Committee on Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Senator Abubakar Kyari (APC, Borno North), presented the report of his committee during yesterday’s plenary.2016_11largeimg03_nov_2016_012403374

The trouble, however, started during the clause by clause consideration of the proposed amendment at the committee of whole, presided over by the Senate President, Bukola Saraki.

The senators had approved four clauses but when they got to section 36 which related to Audu’s case, they became sharply divided.
The committee had introduced section 36(3) to address the lacuna.
The committee said the new section was introduced as an answer to a lacuna which was recently made manifest in Kogi State, where a candidate died before the final result of the governorship election was announced.
The new clause read: “If after the commencement of poll and before the announcement of the final result and declaration of a winner, a nominated candidate dies, the chief national electoral commissioner shall, being satisfied of the fact of the death, proceed with the election after allowing the political party, whose candidate died to substitute the late candidate with the person who scored the next highest number of lawful votes in the primaries, which was won by the deceased candidate, as if the substituted person was the candidate originally nominated by the party.”
While some were against new clause, others voiced their support for it.
At this point, Saraki called for the debate to be suspended, asking the committee to look into the various issues senators raised.
“In view of the contentious issues that are very important, we should suspend further debate on it to enable the committee address it,” he said.

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