Lagos Assembly extends LASIEC board's tenure by 6 months

The amendment empowers the governor to extend the tenure of the commission's Board.

Mudashiru Obasa [TheCable]

The Lagos House of Assembly has amended the state's Independent Electoral Commission (LASEIC) Law to enable the state governor extend the tenure of its Board by six months.

The House amended the law through a voice vote, conducted by the Speaker, Mudashiru Obasa, after it was read for the third time on the floor of the House on Monday.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the title of the bill was 'A Bill for a law to amend the Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission Law 2015'.

Speaking, the Chairman, House Committee on Judiciary, Public Petitions and LASIEC, Victor Akande, said the amendment empowered the governor to extend the tenure of the commission's Board if their tenure elapsed before the conduct of the Local Government election

Akande said the law also resolved the lacuna that could occur between the period the tenure of the commission elapses and when new board members are appointed by the governor.

"This is an executive bill that was brought to the House for them to create a subsection for Section 2 of the law.

"The newly added Subsection 5 empower the governor to extend the tenure of the Commission by six months based on exigencies.

"The amendment was to resolve the lacuna that could occur between the period the tenure of the commission elapses and when new members are appointed by the governor.

"The bill is just for a singular amendment or a fraction of the law and the major issue is that it is seeking the House to give the governor a leverage in case of scarcity of time," he said.

Contributing, Mr Gbolahan Yishawu (Eti-Osa 2) said the amendment was in good faith for the progress of the state and effective running of the government.

Yishawu, however, suggested that the amendment should be in such a way that there would be recourse to the House should there be any reason to extend the tenure of the commission.

On his part, Tobun Abiodun (Epe 1), supported the amendment and noted that it was being done to ensure the state abides by the law.

He noted that the amended portion of the law stated that if the tenure of the commission expires when the government had yet to make fresh appointments, the tenure could be extended by six months.

Concluding the debate, Speaker Obasa explained that the portion of the law was being amended to meet the exigencies of time.

Obasa explained that the amendment became expedient to ensure that the process leading to the effective conclusion of the local government election in the state is not hampered.

The Speaker added that the House amended the bill for the law as a result of the soon-to-end tenure of the members of LASIEC.

"To this end, a legal extension of the members of the commission will help then effectively conclude the elections with the backing of the law.

"However, an additional six months as suggested by the bill is too wide since the period is simply meant to perfect fresh appointments.

"I suggest a reduction of the time period to three months, but the request for such extension is subject to a review and approval of the House," he said.

The Speaker directed the Clerk of the House, Mr Olalekan Onafeko, to pass the clean copy to the governor for assent.

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