Nigerian Senate finally approves electronic transmission of election results 

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The Nigerian senate has finally approved the electronic transmission of election results as requested by INEC and rescinded its earlier decision that restricted the commission from doing so. 

The red chamber made the decision at its plenary today and stated that INEC has the sole right to determine its mode of election results transmission and could transmit results electronically when and where it is practicable. 

This new decision comes as members of the public have continued to lash out at the House of Senate over its decisions which limited the commission from carrying out its full responsibilities. 

INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu

Recall that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) earlier this year presented its new Electoral Act Amendment bill which gives the commission the right to transmit the election results electronically when and where could.

The Senate in July, during its consideration of the report on the 2010 Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill 2021, countered this move and passed the electoral bill with the amendment clause which states that the commission can only transmit the results electronically after it receives approval from the Nigerian Communications Commission and the National Assembly. 

The Senate has, however, today rescinded that decision and has removed some of the clauses limiting the commission.

The amendment bill titled: “Recommittal of Amended Clauses of a Bill for an Act to repeal the Electoral Bill, 2021 and Enact the Electoral Act, 2021” now grants the commission sole prerogative to transmit the results when and where it is practicable.

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The controversial clause 52(3) is now amended to read: “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.”

Other affected clauses

This new electoral bill amendment does not only affect the issues of electronic voting but also addresses the nomination of candidates by political parties.

The Senate had earlier passed clause 87(1), which allows parties to decide to choose either a direct or indirect method of conducting primaries. But the clause is now amended to read: “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.”

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