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Coup against lawmakers: How Senate stopped legislators’ replacement bill

Coup against lawmakers: How Senate stopped legislators’ replacement bill %Post Title

IN what some lawmakers described as a coup against legislators, the Senate, on Tuesday, stepped down consideration of a bill seeking to allow political parties to nominate and replace serving members in National and states’ Assembly.

The Bill titled: “A Bill for an Act to Amend the Electoral Act, 2022 to allow political parties nominate and replace validly elected candidates in the event of resignation, death or vacancy of seats of serving members in National Assembly and State Assembly and for connected matters, 2023 (SB, 119),” was sponsored by Senator Karimi Sunday, APC, Kogi West.

When the bill that was introduced in the Senate on October 26, 2023 was brought up for discussion and consideration, it was vehemently rejected as majority of the Senators voted against it.

Earlier, Karimi explained that the bill seeks to amend the Electoral Act 2022 to allow the political party that won an election to nominate and replace candidates into National Assembly and State Houses of Assembly whenever vacancy occurs due to death or resignation of the candidate during the pendency of his tenure in office.

Karimi, who noted that the bill will primarily avoid waste of public resources on conducting a fresh election in the federal and state constituencies, said: “Why are we wasting money conducting a fresh election when we can use that money for infrastructural development?”

Trouble started when many senators present expressed doubts about the bill’s validity, citing reasons that it should be withdrawn as they did not also receive a copy of the lead debater’s paper.

The President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio, thereafter presented Karimi with the option of withdrawing the bill or amending it of which he declined both offers.

The bill was subsequently stepped down after being put to a voice vote.

Some lawmakers said the bill was a coup against the independence of the legislature.

They said if passed into law, the Executive arms could replace any lawmaker they don’t like through the parties. (Vanguard)

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