The Senate has overturned its decision which required the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to seek the approval of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to transmit elections results electronically.
The upper legislative chamber rescinded its decision while making amendments to the 2010 Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill 2021 on Tuesday.
The Senate had during consideration of a report on the 2010 Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill 2021 submitted by its Committee on INEC in July amended clause 52(3), which empowered the NCC to determine the electronic transmission of election results.
However, the decision elected a backlash from Nigerians, who criticised the lawmakers for ceding powers of the electoral umpire to the NCC.
The House of Representatives, on the other hand, had permitted INEC to deploy technology during elections “where practicable”.
However, Senator Yahaya Abdullahi, the Senate Majority Leader, moved the motion for amendments to the electoral amendment bill.
The Senate approved four clauses in the electoral act amendment bill, including that all political parties must use the direct primary mode in picking candidates.
“After critical examination of the bill by the senate committee on INEC, some fundamental issues which requires fresh legislative action on the following clauses 43, 52, 63 and 87 were observed,” he said.
“Desirous of the need to address the observations by the committee and make necessary amendments; and relying on order 1(b) and 53(b) of the senate standing order,” Yahaya said.
The four clauses in the bill were approved by the senate in “the committee of the whole” following a voice vote call made by Senate President, Senator Ahmad Lawan.
Clause 52(2) now reads: “Subject to section 63 of this Bill, voting at an election and transmission of results under this Bill shall be in accordance with the procedure determined by the Commission, (INEC) which may include electronic voting.”
Clause 87(1), which dwells on the mode of primary, now reads: “A political party seeking to nominate candidates for elections under this Bill shall hold direct primaries for aspirants to all elective positions, which shall be monitored by the Commission.”
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