The House of Representatives on Wednesday passed into second reading a bill to cover the vacuum in the event that a governorship candidate dies before the conclusion of elections.

The bill also include the use of card reader as part of the Electoral Act.

Sponsored by the Majority Leader, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila and six others, the bill seeks to amend the Electoral Act 2010 to empower election tribunals and courts to declare the deputy governorship candidates as winners in the event of death of the governorship aspirant.

It also seeks the declaration of the candidate with the second highest vote as winner, if the tribunal finds that the winner of the election is not unqualified ab initio.

Speaking on the bill, Gbajabiamila argued that the inclusion of card reader would codify what is already part of the process.

He said, “The courts have insisted that the card reader is an in-house regulation of the electoral umpire, INEC and that it’s not embedded in the Electoral Act. And for that reason the Supreme did not recognise it as law,” he said.

“It is for this reason that this part of our law that can be amended by this amendment bill that says accreditation can be with the use of a card reader, and that anyone who cannot be accredited by the electronic card reader, shall not be eligible to vote. And then it goes further to say that provided that when the electronic card reader malfunctions and incidence form shall be filled and subsequently the person shall be allowed to vote,” the majority leader added.