The Senate has approved that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) should be in charge of local government elections.
The approval came during plenary on Tuesday as the senators debated the report by the National Assembly Joint Committee on Constitution Review.
This strips the states of the power to constitute electoral commissions to conduct local government elections.
The proposal was the 33rd item of the report on the bill to amend the 1999 Constitution presented by the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu on Tuesday.
Mr. Ekweremadu’s report originally had 32 items, including autonomy for local government areas.
But APC Kogi West senator, Dino Melaye, posited that allowing states to oversee conducts of local government elections make a mess of the call for autonomy. He then moved that INEC should conduct the local elections.
“How do we speak of local government autonomy, without addressing the foundation”, he argued.
Melaye’s motion was adopted by other senators and when it was put to voice vote by Senate President Bukola Saraki, the ayes had it.
Ekweremadu’s report had only included proposal for democratically elected local councils, which can directly receive allocations from the federation accounts.
In effect, the alteration bill seeks to abrogate the state-LG joint account system. The bill also proposes that no local council should receive allocation except it is democratically constituted.