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Reps move to stop courts from sacking President, Governors

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A law to bar courts and election tribunals from voiding the election of a President-elect and governors-elect, because of blemishes in the educational qualifications of their running mates, is underway in the House of Representatives.

The Bill to that effect, obtained on Monday, by newsmen, is entitled: “An Act to Alter the Provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, to Preserve the Elections of a Candidate to the Office of the President and Governor whose running mates are found to have Defected in their Qualification”.

The Bill, sponsored by Solomon T. Bob (Rivers-PDP), seeks to alter Section 142 (1) of the Principal Act, by “inserting a proviso to the subsection as follows: Provided that a person who has been elected to the office of the President shall have his election voided or cancelled by sole reason of any defect in the qualification of his associate nominated as his running mate”.

The Bill alters Section 142 of the Constitution, “by inserting after subsection 2, a new subsection 3(3) where a candidate has been elected to the office of the President and his running mate, has been found by a competent Court or Tribunal not to possess the requisite qualification for that office as prescribed by subsection 2 of this section, his election shall not be voided by the sole reason of such defect, but shall nominate another candidate from a same political party, which sponsored him to occupy the office of the Vice President”.

Section 187(1) of the Constitution, is amended by the Bill, “by inserting a proviso to the subsection as follows: “Provided that a person who has been elected to the office of the Governor, shall not have his election voided or cancelled by the sole reason of any defect in the qualification of his associate nominated as his running mate”.

Section 187 of the Constitution, is also altered by  “inserting after subsection 2, a new subsection 3, to state that: where a candidate has been found by a competent Court or Tribunal not to possess the requisite qualification for that office as prescribed by subsection 2 of this section, his election shall not be voided by the sole reason of such defect, but shall nominate another candidate from the same political party, which sponsored him to occupy the office of the Deputy Governor”.

The Bill explains that it seeks to alter the Provisions of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, to preserve the elections of candidates to the office of the President or Governor whose deputies, have been found to have deficiencies in their qualifications.

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