By Henry Umoru
ABUJA—AHEAD of 2019 general election, the National Assembly has transmitted the passed 2010 Electoral Act (Amendment ) Bill 2018 to President Muhammadu Buhari for assent.
A source in the Senate told Vanguard, yesterday, that the bill was transmitted last week to the President.
The amendment bill, if signed into law by President Buhari, will be known as 2018 Electoral Act, which will serve as guidelines for the conduct of the 2019 elections by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
Recall that on October 23, the Senate passed the 2018 Electoral Bill, just as it retained N5 billion as expected maximum expenses to be spent by presidential candidates.
The Senate, which read the Electoral Bill for the third time and passed it, retained the maximum expenses for governorship position at N1 billion, but made upward review of maximum expenses for senatorial seats from N100 million to N250 million and House of Representatives seats from N70 million to N100 million as amendments in Clause 25 of the bill.
Other clauses of the bill totalling 38, were adopted by the Senate as recommended by its Committee on the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, headed by Senator Suleiman Nazif(PDP Bauchi North).
Nazif had, in his lead debate on the bill last week, explained that Clause 25, Section 91, which stipulates limits of expenses to be incurred by candidates in the general election, also stipulates penalties to be incurred by any candidate who spends beyond approved expenses.
The penalties as recommended by the committee and adopted by the Senate are payment of one percent of the money or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months or both.
According to the section, no individual or entity shall donate to a candidate more than N10 million or the person risks penalties stipulated for candidates, who spend beyond approved expenses.
After the passage of the bill, Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, who noted that all observations raised by the President in the rejected versions of the bills had been taken care of for required assent, said the bill when signed into law, would go a long way to improve electoral processes and conduct in the country.