Lawmakers at Red Chamber of Senate have aligned with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on electronic transmission of election result, saying the commission was free to determine the mode of transmission of results during elections, including electronic transmission or manual transmission.
The lawmakers resolutions followed a motion titled: “Motion for recommittal” sponsored by the Senate Leader Yahaya Abdullahi (Kebbi North). Meanwhile, the approval was against the lawmakers earlier stance that INEC can only transmit elections results electronically with approval from NCC and the National Assembly.
In his lead debate, Abdullahi said that after the Senate passed the Electoral Act No. 6, 2010 (Repeal and re-enactment) Bill, 2021, the senate committee on INEC later observed that there were some fundamental issues which require fresh legislative action on the 43, 52, 63, and 87 clauses of the bill.
According to him, desirous of the need to address the observation by the Committee and make necessary amendments; and relying on order 1(b) and 53(6) of Senate Standing Order.
“Accordingly the senate resolves to: Rescind its decision on the affected Clauses of the Bill as passed and re-commit same to the Committee of the Whole for consideration and passage.”
Order 1(b) of the Senate Standing Orders reads: “In all cases not provided for hereinafter or by Sessional or other Orders or practice of the Senate shall by Resolution regulate its procedure.
Also, Order 53(6) of the Senate Standing Orders reads: “It shall be out of order to attempt to reconsider any specific question upon which the Senate has come to a conclusion during the current session except upon a substantive motion for rescission.”
The approval followed an amendment to Clause 52(3) of the Electoral Act (amendment) Bill by Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi (Niger North) during the consideration of a report by the Senate Committee on INEC.
The committee’s had initially recommended in in Clause 52(3) that “the Commission (INEC) may transmit results of elections by electronic means where and when practicable.”
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. 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.”