THE Lagos State House of Assembly on Monday made significant amendments to the state’s electoral laws setting up the Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission (LASIEC) less than a week to the much anticipated July 22 local government elections in the state.
The lawmakers made this possible by passing into law the Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission Amendment Bill 2017, which was given accelerated first, second and third readings.
According to the lawmakers, the move is aimed at “creating clarity and removing all forms of ambiguity” in the state’s existing electoral laws.
Key sections of the law that were amended included sections 28 and 62(1).
While recommending an accelerated reading and passage of the bill, the Majority Leader, Hon Sanai Agunbiade, said the accelerated passage of the bill was in accordance with the section 101 of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, which he said empowered the various houses of assembly in the country to regulate their proceedings independently.
He also cited an existing order of the Lagos State’s House of Assembly which he noted empowered the House to abridge the time of passage of bills before it.
In his contribution, Chairman House Committee on Finance, Hon Yinka Ogundimu, pointed out that the amendment would “create clarity and remove all forms of ambiguity in the law.”
Similarly, the Chairman House Committee on Health, Hon Segun Olulade, noted that the amendment would help settle electoral issues with special focus on time and dates of elections to be organised by the state government.
In his remarks, the Speaker, Rt Hon Mudashiru Obasa, said the purpose of the amendment was to “create more participation in the electoral process as well as create flexibility for the commission to effectively carry out its duties.”
He subsequently directed the Clerk of the Assembly, Mr Azeez Sani, to do the needful by forwarding a clean copy of the bill to the Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode, for his assent and eventual signing of the bill into law.
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