- There are plans to forestall what could result in serious political crisis like it happened some months ago in Kogi state with the death of Abubakar Audu
- The House is currently looking at a bill to amend the country's Electoral Act to provide for the running mate of a late candidate to stand as replacement for an election
Presidential and governorship candidates who die just before the conclusion of elections could have their running mates replace them, but that is if a bill currently before the House of Representatives is finally passed.
The bill that seeks to amend the Electoral Act to replace dead presidential or governorship candidate with their running mates scaled second reading at the floor of the House on Tuesday, March 28 and targets the political crisis that occurred in Kogi state during the last election.
NAIJ.com reports that Audu Abubakar, candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) died just after casting his own votes. James Faleke, his running mate, later laid claim to the votes.
However, the party nominated Yahaya Bello as replacement for the late Abubakar while Faleke, a member of the House of Representatives, went to court and lost
Daily Trust reports that the bill is sponsored by Sunday Karimi, from Kogi on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and Eucharia Azodo, a PDP member from Anambra state.
The bill further seeks amend the Electoral Act to empower the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to organise voting by Nigerians in the diaspora.
Karimi, while leading the debate on the bill, said the Electoral Act does not take care of situations where a candidate dies.
“The act is silent about changing of candidates during an ongoing election, although, going by the spirit of section 33, the Electoral Act 2010 prohibits changing/substitution of candidates during an ongoing election,” he said while proposing that where a flagbearer of a party for a presidential or gubernatorial election dies during the election, “the running mate who holds a joint ticket with his superior automatically steps into his shoes so that the said election can be concluded without delay.”
Also, Azodo proposed an additional sections 118 and 119 to allow diaspora voting and the method with which it could be done just before Speaker Yakubu Dogara referred the bill to the committees on electoral matters and justice.
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