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[NIGERIA] : Election sequence: Senate re-introduces Electoral Act Amendment Bill, probes bribery allegation

March 28, 2018 
The Senate has begun a fresh move to amend the Electoral Act 2010.
A new bill on the amendment is to be presented and passed for first reading today, according to the Order Paper for today’s plenary.
The House of Representatives had re-introduced the bill last week.
The first version of the bill, which was introduced in the House of Representatives, had been passed by the National Assembly but vetoed by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The bill had sought to reorder the sequence of polls during a general election, which generated controversy over the allegation that it was targeted at Buhari in the 2019 elections.
Meanwhile, the Senate has mandated its Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions to investigate alleged attempts to compromise senators and House of Representatives members to abandon plans to override President Muhammadu Buhari’s veto of the 2018 Electoral Act amendment.
The resolution to investigate the allegation followed a point of order raised by Senator Peter Nwaoboshi on the issue.
Nwaoboshi (Delta North) told his colleagues that the media was awash with reports on Monday about alleged move to bribe senators and House members to scuttle the plan to override the President’s veto on the Electoral Act.
It was alleged that $50,000 had been earmarked for senators, while members of the House of Representatives, are expected to get $30,000 each to stop the override plot.
The upper chamber asked the committee to report back its finding within two weeks for a decisive action on the matter.
Nwaoboshi told his colleagues that media report infringes on his right as a senator since he did not receive any money from anybody.
He prayed the Senate to get to the root of the matter with a view to unearthing the faces behind the bribery allegation.
Nwaoboshi said: “My constituents have been calling me through phone calls and emails. They are asking me to share the $50,000 I received as bribe with them to scuttle plans by the Senate to override the veto of the President.
“I know that as a person, I have not received such money. Many of my colleagues too did not receive any money. I am sure nobody received the bribe they are alleging. This allegation infringes on my right as a senator and I think we have to get to the root of this issue.”
Senator Mao Ohuabunwa, who supported the motion, noted that he has been inundated with phone calls from his constituents over the allegation.
Ohuabunwa insisted that if allegation was not cleared Nigerians will believe and tag them as thieves.

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