Bayelsa: Ex-lawmaker tasks NASS on amendment of Electoral Act

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By Adekunle Williams

A former Lagos lawmaker, Mr Olusegun Olulade, has called on the National Assembly to begin a process of amending the Electoral Act to forestall a repeat of the Supreme Court judgment on Bayelsa.

Olulade, a former member of the Lagos State House of Assembly, said in a statement on Saturday in Lagos that the development was “sad and unfortunate.”

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Supreme Court had on Thursday sacked former Bayelsa Governor-elect, David Lyon and his Deputy, Biobarakuma Degi-Eremieoyo, barely 24 hours to their inauguration.

The apex court, in a unanimous decision, nullified their election on the ground that Degi-Eremienyo presented false information to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in aid of his qualification for the Bayelsa governorship poll held on Nov. 16, 2019.

Olulade, who represented Epe Constituency II, from 2011 to 2019, expressed disappointment at how the people of Bayelsa had been deprived of their mandate, which was freely given to David Lyon of the APC during the last governorship election.

“What happened in Bayelsa is a sad development and it goes to show that our Electoral Act is very faulty.

“Why should the people who voted for a change be made to suffer this type of injustice just because the court decided to act on some technicalities?

“It is very sad when an issue like this will affect the joint ticket.

“So, I am challenging the National Assembly to quickly amend the necessary sections of the Electoral Act so that issues like this would be taken care of,’’ he said.

He said this was painful because the people of the state had been robbed of their choice and their mandate had been given to someone they never voted for.

The former lawmaker pointed out that the National Assembly owes it a duty to correct this anomaly.

“Also, this is the time we should begin to consider the issue of independent candidacy.

“If we allow independent candidacy, problems like this will not arise.

“I am seriously challenging the federal lawmakers to act as soon as possible so that we won’t have a repeat of this,’’ he said.

Olulade urged the leadership of the APC to look at possibilities of exploring legal means to correct what he described as “judicial aberration”.

Olulade said the advice was necessary because the incident was a sad loss to both the party and the people who voted on Nov. 2019.


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