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Reps Empower INEC To Deploy Troops For Elections . . . Amend Electoral Act

The House of Representatives, on Thursday, adopted the report of its conference committee on a bill for an act to further amend the Electoral Act No.6 of 2010, which now empowers the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to deploy troops during elections.

The new Electoral Act, amongst other thing, is to ensure a level playing field for all participants in the electoral process and for more transparent process of conducting elections in the country.

Some of the amendments include the new sub-section (b) proposed to the extant Section 29(1) of the Principal Act, which seeks to give more powers to INEC to be the authority to request for the deployment of security personnel for election monitoring.

“This new provision seeks to ensure that the commission is responsible for requesting and deploying relevant security personnel necessary for elections or registration of voters; assigning them in the manner determined by the commission, in collaboration with the relevant security agencies, with the condition that the deployment of the Nigerian Armed Forces shall only be for the purpose of securing the distribution and delivery of election materials.

“Provided that the commission shall only request for the deployment of the Nigerian Armed Forces only for the purpose of securing the distribution and delivery of election materials and protection of election officials,” the adopted report stated.

The report, as presented by the chairman of the House Committee on Electoral Matters, Honourable Jerry Manwe, has 28 proposed amendments.

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