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At last, Senate backs INEC on electronic transmission of results

Following intense pressure mounted on the Senate by Nigerians, the upper legislative house Tuesday adopted electronic transmission of election results by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The federal lawmakers, also at plenary, put their weight behind the direct conduct of primaries by registered political parties in the country.

The decision was taken, following the amendment of Clause 52(2) of the Electoral Act Amendment Bill at the Committee of the Whole chaired by Ahmad Lawan, Senate president.

The amendment 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 Independent National Electoral Commission, which may include electronic voting.”

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On the issue of method of primaries to adopt by political parties, which had also become controversial, the Senate announced that Clause 87(1) of the Electoral Amendment Bill, which was also passed as recommended, states: “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 Independent National Electoral Commission.”

In July during consideration of the report on the 2010 Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill 2021, submitted by its Committee on INEC, the Senate had 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 Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) of adequacy and security of the national network.

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