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JUST IN: Reps okay new Electoral Act after PDP lawmakers staged walkout

By News Desk

The House of Representatives has passed the new Electoral act bill and maintained the controversial Clause 52(2) as presented after the People’s Democratic Party PDP and other lawmakers against the clause staged a walkout from the chamber.

With the House passage of the bill, retaining the provisions of the report on electoral matters, it has empowered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to determine when, where and how voting and transmission of results would be done beginning from the Anambra gubernatorial election and subsequent ones.

The Clause 52(2) reads, “Voting at an election and transmission of result under this bill shall be in accordance with the procedure determined by the commission.”

Several efforts to seek amendments to the clause had causes crisis on the floor of the House, forcing the lawmakers to spend two days on the exercise.

Also on Friday, when the bill was about to be passed, the lawmakers insisting on electronic transmission of elections results could not have their way as they were outnumbered by those that wished that the status quo be sustained.

Realizing that they could not ensure the necessary adjustment were carried out before the passage, the lawmakers majorly from the PDP walked out of the session as they insisted that the clause was never included in the bill that was about to be passed.

While leaving the floor in announance, The aggrieved lawmakers hinted that they would disrupt the proceedings in the House it resumes from break and ensure no activity is done by their colleagues.

Earlier, Nigeria Communication Commission (NCC) and INEC honoured the house as announced by the speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, that both commissions would be educating the house on requirements for election results transmission across the country as it concerns section 52(3).

The NCC which later honoured the invitation of the House of Reps explained that it cannot guarantee a 100 per cent safety of results for the electronic transmission of results, explaining that no system is completely free from hackers.

Speaking through its Executive Commissioner (Stakeholder Management), Adeleke Adewolu, the commission admitted that no system can guarantee a 100 percent shield from hacking particularly during election processes.

According to the NCC official, elections results can only be transmitted by a 3G network, noting that 50 percent of the entire country has 3G coverage.

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