Section 97, 98 and 99 of the 1999 Constitution: Language, Voting and Offences of the State House of Assembly

Voting

The 1999 Constitution

Section 97

The business of a House of Assembly shall be conducted in English, but the House may in addition to English conduct the business of the House in one or more other languages spoken in the State as the House may by resolution approve.

(The official language of the House of Assembly is English Language or in addition to English, other languages spoken in the state after general approval of the House.)


Section 98 (1)

Except as otherwise provided by this Constitution, any question proposed for decision in a House of Assembly shall be determined by the required majority of the members present and voting; and the person presiding shall cast a vote whenever necessary to avoid an equality of votes but shall not vote in any other case.

(Unless the Constitution states specifically, Determination of any issue in the House of Assembly of any state shall be by casting of majority of votes by members present in the sitting. The Presiding Officer would ordinarily not vote except where there is a tie of votes then the presiding officer would cast his vote to break the tie.)


Section 98 (2)

Except as otherwise provided by this Constitution, the required majority for the purpose of determining any question shall be a simple majority.

(To determine the winners of each round of voting, the side with the most numbers wins the voting process.)

Section 98 (3)

A House of Assembly shall by its rules provide: 

(The following shall be contained in the House of Assembly rules; )

Section 98 (3)(a)

that a member of the House shall declare any direct pecuniary interest he may have in any matter coming before the House for deliberation;

(The House of Assembly shall have a rule that members must indicate any financial interest he/she has in a matter to be brought before the house.)


Section 98 (3)(b)

that the House may by resolution decide whether or not such member may vote or participate in its deliberations, on such matter;

(The House of Assembly may have a rule that if a member has any interest, and has declared such interest, the House has to agree if the member with such interest would join in discussing or voting on such matter.)


Section 98 (3)(c)

the penalty, if any, which the House may impose for failure to declare any direct pecuniary interest such member may have;

(The House of Assembly may have a rule that prescribes a penalty for any member that fails to indicate any financial interest he/she has in a matter.)


Section 98 (3)(d)

for such other matters pertaining to the foregoing as the House may think necessary, but nothing in this subsection shall enable any rules to be made to require any member, who signifies his intention not to vote on or participate in such matter, and who does not so vote or participate, to declare any such interest;

(The House of Assembly may/should have other rules relating to the financial interest of members and whether they can vote/deliberate on the issue or not but where a member has stated that he would not participate in voting or deliberating on an issue, he is not obligated to disclose if he has a financial interest.)

Section 99

Any person who sits or votes in a House of Assembly of a State knowing or having reasonable grounds for knowing that he is not entitled to do so commits an offence and is liable on conviction to such punishment as shall be prescribed by a Law of the House of Assembly.

(Anyone who does not have the power to be in a meeting or vote in the State House of Assembly, if such person casts a vote; the person is deemed to have committed an offence and shall be punished in accordance with the Laws of The respective as enacted by the State House of Assembly.)

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