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Political and constitutional objectives.

Continued from last week

SYMBOLS shall be printed on the ballot papers and there shall be only one ballot box for all candidates in each polling station. A voter shall, in secret, make a mark against the symbol of his choice, and then insert the ballot paper in the ballot box which must be within the view of the Presiding Officer and other polling officials, and the polling agents.

(vi) There shall not be more than 500 registered voters to a polling station.

(vii) Twenty-four hours before polling begins, all public meetings, use of loudspeakers, display of party symbols, and shouting of party slogans shall cease.

(viii) During the electioneering period, that is thirty days before polling day, it shall be unlawful to carry dangerous weapons at public meetings, to shout the slogans of a Party at a public meeting arranged by that Party's opponent, and for Party campaigners to shout vulgar abuse at a public meeting or in any place.

(ix) Polling shall, from its commencement, be continuous for ten hours.

(x) Nomination fees shall be APS25.

(xi) Instructions to election and polling officials or any other officials connected directly or indirectly with the conduct and supervision of an election shall be laid, for at least three months before the election, on the tables of the Central and State Legislatures; otherwise they shall be of no effect.

(xii) Alternatively, instructions to election and polling officials or any other persons connected directly or indirectly with the conduct and supervision of the election may take the form of Regulations which must be approved by Parliament.

(xiii) At the close of polls, the Presiding Officer shall prepare a ballot paper account setting out details such as are contained in Section 34 (3) of Western Nigeria Parliamentary Electoral Regulations, 1960, and he shall give to the polling agents of each candidate a copy of the ballot paper account duly signed by him.

After this shall have been done, the Presiding Officer shall then proceed to count the votes in the presence of the polling agents. The results shall be recorded on the prescribed certificate, a copy of which shall be signed and delivered by the Presiding Officer to the polling agent or agents of each of the candidates. The Presiding Officer shall thereafter proceed, without delay and in company of the polling agents, to deliver the ballot papers, ballot paper account, and certificate of voting results, to the Returning Officer at his prescribed office.

(xiv) All ballot papers shall be counted; but unmarked ballot papers shall be counted separately and the total of these shall be certified on a form, a copy of which shall be delivered to the candidate or his agent.

(xv) In addition to the provisions such as are contained in Section

46 (1) of the Western Nigeria Parliamentary Electoral Regulations, 1960, a Returning Officer shall deliver the aggregate certified election results, duly signed by him, to all the candidates in the constituency under his charge, standing at the election. The certificate thus issued shall be conclusive of the election until such election is set aside by a court of law on an election petition.

(xvi) There shall be no option of fine under the electoral law for an electoral offence.

(xvii) The first general elections in the Federation before the end of the Military Regime, shall be conducted by an Electoral Commission whose Chairman shall be the Chairman of the Indian Electoral Commission, and whose members shall be recommended for appointment by the United Nations Organisation.

(xviii) The United Nations should also be invited to send various teams and observers from other countries of the world to observe the conduct of the elections.

(xix) It shall also be provided in the electoral law that candidates and their agents for the election shall not be placed under any disability during the period of election, that is to say, if any of them commits an offence he shall immediately be put on bail, pending the election.

(xx) The Electoral Commission shall have a branch of its office in the headquarters of each State. There shall be a number of forms, one of which shall be a receipt form for nomination fee.

(xxi) Every candidate for election, whether or not he is opposed by any other candidate or candidates at such an election, shall be voted for, provided that where only one candidate stands, he shall in order to be declared elected poll not less than 40% of the total number of registered voters in his constituency.

(xxii) At least forty-five days' notice shall be given before the day appointed for the holding of election; at least thirty days of this period of notice shall be earmarked for electioneering and the filling of nomination papers.

NOTE: This is to ensure that ample time is given to each Party to put its case to the electorate and comfortably complete nomination processes.

(xxiii) If there is reason to apprehend that a serious breach of the peace is likely to occur in any constituency or part of it, the holding of the election in such an area may be postponed by the Electoral Commission for a period not longer than two months.

(xxiv) Such provisions as are contained in Sections 11 (3); 12 (4); 14 (6); 16, 19 (1) (a) and (b) and 19 (2) of the Western Nigeria Parliamentary Electoral Regulations 1960; and the entire provisions of Parliamentary Electoral (Amendment) (No.2) Law, 1965, shall be forbidden by the Constitution.

Nigeria should be a secular state.

The Federal Parliament or Government should not have the power to suspend or perform the functions of a State Legislature or Government in any circumstance, save when the Federation is at war.

The State Legislature or Government should not have power to suspend or dissolve a local government council in any circumstance, during the council's statutory term of office.

Elections to local government councils should be conducted every 3 years, and at least three-fourths of the members of any such council should be directly elected by the registered voters in the area of the council.
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Publication:Nigerian Tribune (Oyo State, Nigeria)
Date:Dec 17, 2017
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