The Lagos State House of Assembly yesterday amended a portion of the law, which created the state Independent Electoral Commission (LASIEC).
The Assembly amended the law by creating a subsection for Section 2 of the law.
The newly added subsection 5 gives the state governor the power to extend the tenure of the commission based on exigencies.
While the Leader of the Assembly, Hon. Sanai Agunbiade, told his colleagues that the amendment was permitted by the existing law, his colleague and Chairman of the Committee on Judiciary, Public Petitions and LASIEC, Hon. Victor Akande, explained that 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 us to give the governor the leverage in case of scarcity of time,” he said, while urging his colleagues to support its passage.
While contributing, Hon. Gbolahan Yishawu (Eti-Osa 2) said the amendment was in good faith for the progress of the state and effective running of the government.
He, however, suggested that the amendment should be in such a way that there would be recourse to the Assembly should there be any reason to extend the tenure of the commission.
On his part, Hon. Tobun Abiodun (Epe 1) supported the amendment, and noted that it was being done to “ensure we abide by the law.”
He noted further that the amended portion of the law states that if the tenure of the commission expires when the government has yet to make fresh appointments, the tenure could be extended by six months.
Concluding the debate, the Speaker of the Assembly, Rt. Hon Mudashiru Obasa, explained that the portion of the law was being amended to meet the exigencies of time.
He explained that the amendment became expedient to ensure that the process leading to the effective conclusion of the local government elections in the state is not hampered as a result of the soon-to-end tenure of the members of LASIEC.
To this end, he argued that a legal extension of the members of the commission would help them to effectively conclude the elections with the backing of the law.
Obasa, however, noted that an additional six months as suggested by the bill was too long since the period is simply meant to perfect fresh appointments.
While suggesting a reduction of the time to three months, the Speaker also opined that the request for such extension should be subject to a review and approval of the Assembly.
He directed the Clerk of the Assembly, Mr. Olalekan Onafeko, to pass the clean copy to the governor for assent