More pressure is being mounted on the Nigerian Senate to allow for the electronic transmission of election results in clause 52 (3) of the electoral act amendment bill.
There have been fears over the Senate stand in the ongoing amendment of the electoral act bill.
Among notable Nigerians who added there voices to the debate is former president Goodluck Jonathan who, while speaking at the National Defence College event last week, called on the members of the National Assembly particularly the Senate to allow electronic transmission of election results.
It was during the Jonathan’s presidency the use of card reader was introduced in the 2015 general elections despite the fact that there was no constitutional backing.
Also, former chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Attahiru Jega, former president of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Olisa Agbakoba (SAN), and chairman of NCFront, Prof Patrick Utomi, have called on the National Assembly to allow the use of electronic means of transmitting results of future elections in the country.
At the National Political Summit in commemoration of Nigeria’s 61st independence anniversary with the theme: “Restoring the Legitimacy of the Nigerian State: The Imperative for Electronic Transmission of Results”
While the House of Representatives passed a different version of the electoral bill, the contention is on Clause 52 (3) which has to do with the mode of election conduct and transmission of the result.
Penultimate Wednesday, Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, announced members of the harmonization committee at plenary led by Senate Leader, Sen. Abdullahi Yahaya (APC- Kebbi).
Other members of the Committee include Senate leader, Yahaya Abdullahi (Chairman); Kabiru Gaya (North-West); Basiru Ajibola (South-West); Danjuma Goje (North-East); Lilian Ekwunife (South-East); and Matthew Urhoghide (South-South).
Apart from Lilian Ekwunife representing the South East, all the listed lawmakers for the conference voted against INEC having the sole power to transmit election result electronically.
Also, on September 28, 2021, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila announced members of a conference committee that will meet with that of the Senate to harmonise the different versions of the bill that was passed.
The members are: Akeem Adeyemi (Chairman), James Faleke, Chris Azubogu, Abdullahi Kalambaine, Blessing Onuh, Aisha Dukku, and Unyime Idem as members.
While Nigerians are waiting for the outcome of the conference committee, the Senate Spokesman, Basiru Ajibola who is a member of the committee has earlier rejected the position of the Green chamber.
Also, Sen Kabiru Gaya, who is the chairman of the Senate Committee on INEC voted against the electoral umpire having such power even though his committee made the recommendation.
With the composition of the conference committees, Nigerians are waiting to see what will be the faith of INEC on election conduct and transmission of election results in the future polls.