The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and civil society organisations on Monday called on President Muhammadu Buhari to sign the Electoral Act Amendment Bill.
The National Assembly has passed the bill and transmitted the document to President Buhari on November 19 for assent.
While the Executive Director, Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre, Clement Nwankwo, asked Buhari to use the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting to sign the bill, the INEC National Commissioner, Festus Okoye said assent will help improve its preparations for future polls.
“We will appreciate it if the President can sign this particular bill as expeditiously as possible to enable us to prepare the processes and procedures for the coming governorship elections in Ekiti and Osun states as well as the 2023 general elections,” he said during an election town hall.
On his part, Nwankwo said it is expedient for the electoral act amendment bill to be signed for the overall benefit of Nigerians.
“I think it is expedient to have this bill signed. I will say to the President you have a FEC meeting on Wednesday, that should be the occasion to sign the bill in order to build confidence for Nigerians,” he said.
The bill, which had generated controversies during its consideration, is aimed at resolving issues concerning INEC’s introduction of modern technologies into the electoral process, particularly accreditation of voters, electronic voting and electronic transmission of results from polling units.
The bill empowered the electoral umpire to determine the use of electronic voting as well as the transmission of results in an election.
It also prescribes the use of direct primaries for political parties in choosing candidates for elective offices.