The senate has of today agreed with the section of the Electoral amendment bill denying the independent electoral commission (INEC) the powers to solely decide on whether to transmit results of elections electronically or not. The senate has now empowered the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and the National Assembly to determine the use of electronic transmission in an election.
A total of 52 senators voted in favour of granting the powers to the NCC and NASS while 28 voted against it and 28 senators were absent during the voting process and in lieu of that development, they are currently considering the Electoral Amendment bill for passage. The decision to vote individually followed a Point of Order raised by the Senate Minority Leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe, shortly after the lawmakers returned from an executive session.
The section of the bill that needed amendment was Section 52(3) of the bill. It states “The Commission may transmit results of elections by electronic means where and when practicable.”
But the Senate Deputy Whip, Sabi Abdullahi, had moved that the section be amended to read: “The commission may consider electronic transmission provided the national network coverage is adjudged to be adequate and secure by the Nigerian Communications Commission and approved by the National Assembly,” he proposed.