From: Chinelo Obogo
A pressure group, the United Action for Change (UAC), has slammed the Lagos State House of Assembly, over the amended Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission (LASIEC) Bill which was passed by the House, recently.
Speaking during a press briefing, on Wednesday, one of the leaders of the group, Kunle Adegoke, stated that the LASIEC Law was amended in a ‘hurry’ to make provision for the APC to make changes to the list of its Local Government candidates just three days to the election.
The group also lambasted the APC over alleged imposition of candidates for the forth-coming council elections, describing the party as ‘undemocratic’.
In the words of Adegoke, “We condemn the puerile efforts of the legislators in the Lagos State House of Assembly to amend the Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission (LASIEC) law to allow APC to feature candidates in the Local Government elections coming up on Saturday, July 22, which is barely three days away. We are saying that this is legislative indecency of the highest order for no decent legislature would pass a law in such a hurry in the middle of the game to favour the ruling party which the majority of the legislators are members.
“The said Bill passed through the first, second and third readings, within 10 minutes, and same was presented to the governor for his assent immediately.
“The legislative process to amend the LASIEC law came after the decision of the High Court of Lagos State nullifying the imposition of a candidate from Odi-Olowo Local council Development Area. The legislative disregard for common sense and the hurried primary election held in Odi-Olowo came by, despite the fact that the time for nomination of candidates had elapsed and no new primary elections can be held by a party in default.
“The implication is that the amendment to the LASIEC law carried out by the Assembly was done to favour APC who had by greed of some leaders.
“The amendment process did not take into consideration the interest of other political parties and neither did it consider the options or perception of the public, hence, there was no need for public hearing before the amendment was made. The amendment was carried out in a black market manner and it offends all legislative traditions and conventions. It is an impunity transported from the bedroom of dictators to the hallowed chambers of the legislature.
“The amendment now allowing a political party to substitute it’s candidate three days to the election was basically to enable APC whose imposed candidate has been nullified by the court to present the same candidate, thereby necessitating changing the goal post in the middle of the game.
“The amendment is a failed effort as there is no candidate to substitute by APC, the process that threw up the imposed candidates having been nullified by the court.
“On the call by Dr. Muiz Banire for transparency in APC, this is a genuinely reasonable call by the National Legal Adviser of the party who is the custodian of the constitution of the party and the adviser in legal matters. By Article 20 of the APC constitution, it is mandatory to hold primary elections by APC at which candidates for any office would be elected.”