Senate Grants INEC Autonomy To Conduct Local Government Elections

The Senate on Tuesday voted to grant the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) powers to conduct local government elections, stripping the right from state government.

The change is part of the 1999 Constitution reforms by the legislature to make local governments become independent of states.

The bill was included in the report to amend the 1999 Constitution presented by the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu on Tuesday.

The bill also proposes that no local council should receive allocation except it is democratically constituted.

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Senator Dino Melaye representing Kogi West Senatorial district, who moved the motion argued that allowing states to oversee the conduct of local government elections lacks fairness as autonomy of local governments was sacrosanct.

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“Mr. President, distinguished colleagues, it was obvious that at the state level, governors sit down in the comfort of their offices to appoint local government Chairmen and so there was no fairness.

“I am glad that past governors who are here have supported this suggestion, I therefore, asked that the amendment be carried,” Melaye said.

Melaye’s motion was put to a voice vote by Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki and was subsequently upheld by the lawmakers.

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