House of Representatives has concurred with the Senate on amendment of section 84 sub-sections 8 of the Electoral Act 2022 and passed same to allow statutory delegates participate in their political parties’ congresses and conventions.
According to the amendment by the House of Representatives, statutory delegates include the President, Governors, National Assembly members, State Assembly members, Local Government Chairman, Councilors and some State and Chapter officers of the party.
The amendment of the Electoral Act 2022 was sequel to the consideration of a bill, sponsored by the Chairman, Committee on Rules and Business, Abubakar Hassan Fulata in an emergency plenary called exclusively for the purpose of passing the bill.
The bill was given accelerated passage as it was introduced, read for the second time, considered at the committee of the whole, later read for the third time and passed at the session presided over by the Deputy Speaker, Ahmed Idris Wase.
Of the 153 sections of the Electoral Act 2022, section 84 has been quite controversial and has at various times raised doubt on the intentions of both the executive and legislature, as evidenced in the numerous back and forth.
The new legislation (Electoral Act 2022 assented to on February 25) is yet to be tested and interpreted for any degree of certainty or clarity, and is considered a profitable and proactive endeavour for lawyers who play in the electoral litigation turf to be abreast with pre-election realities.
Regardless of the legal prospects, section 84(12) requires an harmonious interpretation with section 84(8). This is another novel provision introduced in the Act. The correct approach to interpreting statutory instrument containing inter-related provision is to give it a harmonious construction as far as the intent of the legislature is clear.