Nigerian Senate Makes U-turn Says INEC Can Transmit Results Electronically!

Senate President, Ahmed Lawan.

The Senate on Tuesday passed a bill to rescind its decision which subjected the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to seek approval from the Nigerian Communications Commission before it could transmit elections results electronically.

The upper chamber also voted in support of the conduct of party primaries only by direct method.

The Bill is titled, “Recommittal of amended clauses of a bill for an Act to repeal the Electoral Bill 2021 and enact the Electoral Act 2021.”

The Senate had in July, during consideration of a report on 2010 Electoral Act ( Amendment ) Bill 2021 submitted by its Committee on INEC, amended clause 52(3) as recommended.

While the clause as presented by the committee in the report says INEC can transmit election results electronically where and when practicable, the Senate passed the amended version which says “INEC can transmit election results electronically subject to confirmation of the NCC based on adequacy and security of National Network.

The House of Representatives at the time, adopted the clause as originally recommended by committees of both Chambers on INEC.

Consequently, the Senate has been in the eye of the storm which made it make the amendment.

Clause 52: has to do with the conduct of poll by open secret ballot.

Sub section (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.”

The Senate in approving direct primary for political parties amended clause 87 which allowed for either direct or indirect primaries.

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Clause 87 has to do with nomination of candidates by parties.

It now reads, “Clause 87. (1) “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.”

The Nigerian Senate.

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