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Senate approves electronic transmission of poll results, others

By News Desk

Lawmakers at the Senate have passed the harmonized version of the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill, 2021, and also 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 passage followed the consideration of the report of the Conference Committee of the Senate and House of Representatives on the bill on Tuesday when the lawmakers resumed plenary after a three-week recess.

It would be recalled that the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, had on October 13, 2021, constituted a seven-man conference committee to meet with their counterparts in the House to harmonize the differences in the Senate and House versions of the bill.

The Senate Leader, Yahaya Abdullahi, who chaired the Conference Committee in the Senate, presented the report on the harmonized version of the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill, 2021.

In his presentation, he said that the bill when passed by the National Assembly, and subsequently assented into law by the President, would regulate the conduct of Federal, State and Area Councils in the Federal Capital Territory Elections.

He disclosed that the Conference Committee at its retreat, considered and adopted twenty-one clauses in the bill. “It is imperative to point out that with the successful harmonization of this bill, a process that started from the 7th Assembly through to the 8th National Assembly has now been completed by the 9th National Assembly.

“The bill is now ready for passage and Presidential assent. I am happy to state that most of what we call “citizens top priorities” on the Electoral Act Amendment, including the use of technology have been addressed by the Electoral Bill, 2021”, the Senate Leader said.

The chamber had on October 13, 2021, re-amended certain aspects of the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill contained in Clauses 43, 52, 63 and 87, respectively. The re-amendment to the clauses was duly carried out amid a motion for re-committal sponsored by Senator Yahaya Abdullahi.

Accordingly, while adopting the conference committee report on Tuesday, the Senate approved the re-amended clauses to provide for direct primaries for aspirants to all elective positions.

It also empowered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) under Clause 63 to determine the procedure for voting and transmission of results during an election.

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