INEC awaits Buhari’s nod on e-transmission of results
The red chamber also approved direct primaries as the method to be adopted by all political parties to elect candidates for all elective positions.
The amendments were made on Tuesday by the Senate to some clauses of the Electoral Act (Repeal and Re-enactment) bill 2021, passed on July 15, 2021.
In its reaction, INEC told The PUNCH that although it had the capacity to transmit elections results electronically, it said it could only adopt the method after the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), had signed amendments to Electoral Act.
Also on Tuesday, the Peoples Democratic Party and civil rights groups faulted the approval of direct primaries by the Senate.
Justifying its U-turn on electronic transmission of results, the Senate explained that its decision to subject the amended clauses of the bill to re-committal was reached after a critical examination by the Senate Committee on INEC.
The chamber added that some fundamental issues which required fresh legislative actions were observed by the Senator Kabiru Gaya-led INEC Committee in the bill.
The upper chamber in Clause 52 of the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill passed almost three months ago, had approved that “the Commission (INEC) may consider the electronic transmission of results, provided the national coverage is adjudged to be adequate and secure by the National Communications Commission and approved by the National Assembly.”
The Senate’s position contradicted that of the House of Representatives, which gave INEC the go-ahead to adopt electronic transmission of results.
The upper chamber was heavily criticised by INEC and other stakeholders over its decision in July
However, the Senate, on Tuesday amended the clause when the bill was subjected to re-committal to provide that, “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).”
The Senate in approving direct primaries for political parties amended clause 87 which earlier allowed for either direct or indirect primaries.
Clause 87 has to do with nomination of candidates by parties.