The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has debunked claims by the Southern Governors and other political leaders that the National Assembly has altered report on the amendment of Electoral Act 2020, saying it is still awaiting consideration by the legislatures.
Gbajabiamila clarified that there was never any moment the lawmakers considered altering the report nor have any part of the authentic report been reviewed, just as he disclosed that the bill would be passed in the next few days after the report would have been laid before the house.
While arguing that the report was yet to be altered, he expressed surprise that anyone could accuse the leadership of altering report of a bill that was still in the custody of the Committee on Electoral Matters and was yet to be deliberated upon.
According to him, I really don’t want to speak on a report that has yet to be presented to the floor. Ordinarily, I will not comment on a matter that is not before us yet.
These came barely 24 hours after the Southern Governors condemned adjustment of the report on electoral act especially the provision on electronic voting and confirmation of exclusive jurisdiction in pre-election matters on the Federal High Court.
Debunking claims made by the governors and other public analyst on the bill during deliberation on the floor of the House on Tuesday, Gbajabiamila urged Nigerians to discountenance such claims and described it as mere speculation.
“I don’t believe there is any alteration to the committee’s report. Only the authentic report of the committee will be submitted for consideration. So, all that is being said remains in the realm of speculation. I have asked the chairman of the committee and she told me that there has been nothing like that (alteration),” he said.
It would be recalled that the 17 Southern governors had in their communique raised concerns over the alleged plans by the lawmakers to remove electronic transmission of the election result from the report.
The chairman of the forum and Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, who read the governors communique at the Lagos House, Ikeja, said: “In order to consolidate our democracy and strengthen the Electoral process, the Southern Governors’ Forum reject the removal of the Electronic transmission of the election result from the electoral act; and also rejects the confirmation of exclusive jurisdiction in pre-election matters on the Federal High Court”.