The House of Representatives, on Tuesday, debated the legality or otherwise of the president to deploy military during elections.
This marked a continuation of debate on a bill which sought to further amend the Electoral Act, No.6 of 2010, sponsored by Honourable Daniel Reyenieju.
The bill sought to ensure a level playing field for all participants in the electoral process and also sought to ensure a more transparent process of conducting elections in Nigeria.
The bill, however, passed through second reading.
However, a mild drama ensued before the passage of the bill, when the House Deputy Leader, Honourable Leo Ogor and the chairman, House Committee on Rules and Business, Honourable Albert Sam-Tsokwa, while supporting the bill, maintained that the powers of the president to deploy military was backed by the 1999 Constitution (as amended), as well as Section 8 of the Armed Forces Act.
But the Minority Leader of the House, Honourable Femi Gbajabiamila, opposed the position of the duo, leading to a rowdy session in the House.
Several attempts were made by the presiding officer, Deputy Speaker, Honourable Emeka Ihedioha, before normalcy was restored to the House.
However, when normalcy was restored to the House, Honourable Gbajabiamila insisted that the president’s power to deploy troop was not absolute, saying the president could only exercise such powers subject to such conditions as may be prescribed by an Act of the National Assembly.
The bill, however, passed through second reading and was referred to the House Committee on Electoral Matters for further legislative action.