Senate Bows To Pressure, Empowers INEC To Decide On E-Transmission Of Results

After months of bashings from the public over resolution on electronic transmission of election results, the Senate on Tuesday rescind its decision.

The Senate had in July passed the Electoral Act Amendment bill with provisions which allowed the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to transmit election results electronically after getting green light on network coverage from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and approval from the National Assembly.

The bill, as passed by the House of Representatives, gives INEC the sole power to transmit results of elections by electronic means “where and when practicable”.

Since then, the Senate has been in the eye of the storm which made it to rescind the decision.

The two chambers set up a conference Committee to harmonise grey areas in the bill.

The harmonization panel is scheduled to meet this week. The Senate passed a new bill which amended some clauses in the Electoral bill, which included sections 52 and 87 on electronic transmission of results and nomination of candidates by political parties. The bill is titled: “Recommitted of Amended Clauses of a Bill for an Act to repeal the Electoral Bill, 2021 and Enact the Electoral Act, 2021”.The controversial clause 52(3) is now amended to 52(2), which 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. ”On nomination of candidates by parties, the Senate had earlier passed clause 87(1), which allows parties to hold either direct or indirect method of conducting primaries. The clause is now amended to read: “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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