On 25th February 2022, President Muhammadu Buhari signed the 2022 Electoral Act Amendment Bill into law, after months of withholding assent.1 The 2022 Electoral Act (“the new Act”) repeals the Electoral Act No. 6, 2010 (“the former Act”) and is intended to bring innovations to the regulation of Federal, State and Area Council elections in Nigeria.
As Nigeria approaches its 2023 general elections, the enactment of this law has come at the right time. This article considers some major changes introduced by the new Electoral Act and the possible implications of these changes on the upcoming elections.
- No manual accreditation.
- No use of incident forms.
- All accreditation is electronic.
- Accreditation is Bimodal meaning facial recognition and finger printing.
- No pre-election cases after conclusion of Elections..
- No election cases after swearing into office of the winner.
- All results must be uploaded to INEC official website at the polling units before taking it to ward, constituency, LGA or state collation centers.
- If the number of votes cast is more than the accredited voters the polling unit result is cancelled.
- No more agreement between parties to share the remaining ballot papers that were not used.
- No more massive thump printing and stuffing of ballot boxes. If you like go and steal ballot boxes you are wasting your time. You cannot change the result.
The people’s votes are counting now. If you didn’t serve the people well when in public office or you are not popular in your political locality, it is advisable to save your money because they will collect your money and vote against you.
End of ballots snatching has come to stay in Nigeria. With the amendment of Nigeria Electoral Act, our votes now counts.