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Senate bows to pressure, grants INEC power to transmit results electronically

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THE Nigerian Senate has granted the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) the power to electronically transmit results in the ongoing amendment of the electoral bill.

This follows a motion by the Senate Leader Yahaya Abdullahi, which called for the critical evaluation of the bill during Tuesday’s plenary.

“After critical examination of the bill by the Senate Committee on INEC, some fundamental issues which require fresh legislative action on the following clauses 43, 52, 63 and 87 were observed,” he said.

“Desirous of the need to address the observations by the committee and make necessary amendments; and relying on order 1(b) and 53(b) of the Senate standing order.”

The Senate said that INEC might consider transmitting results electronically provided the national network coverage was adjudged to be adequate and secure by the Nigerian Communications Commission and approved by the National Assembly.

The Senate also amended Clause 87 of the bill to mandate political parties to hold only direct primaries for candidates seeking elective positions.

In July, the Senate had drawn sharp criticisms from Nigerians after lawmakers of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) voted against the transition of results.

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Section 52 of the bill had allowed INEC to only transmit results of elections by electronic means where and when practicable.

The controversial section also empowered the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC)and the National Assembly to determine the use of electronic transmission of results in an election.

Vincent Ufuoma is a reporter with The ICIR. He is a lover of God, truth, knowledge and justice.

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