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Confusion: Amended Electoral Act Bill To Allow Only Aspirants Challenge Credentials Of Candidates In Court

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The revised electoral act bill has ruled out the possibility of voters challenging credentials submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission by candidates.

The proposed bill, if signed by President Muhammadu Buhari, will allow only those who participated in the party primary to challenge in court, the school certificates, the birth certificate, and other credentials of a co-contestant, Punch repots.

The provision is contained in the revised bill that was passed by the two chambers of the national assembly last week.

Recall that President Buhari had rejected the bill because of the compulsory direct primaries for political parties,

Currently, Section 31(5) of the Electoral Act reads, “Any person who has reasonable grounds to believe that any information given by a candidate in the affidavit or any document submitted by that candidate is false may file a suit at the Federal High Court, High Court of a State or the FCT (Federal Capital Territory) against such a person seeking a declaration that the information contained in the affidavit is false.”

However, the new amendment reads, “Any aspirant who participated in the primaries of his political party who has reasonable grounds to believe that any information given by his political party’s candidate in the affidavit or any document submitted by that candidate in relation to his constitutional requirements to contest the election is false, may file a suit at the Federal High Court against that candidate seeking a declaration that the information contained in the affidavit is false.”

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