Electoral Act Amendment: Lawmakers set for showdown as APC opposes electronic transmission of results

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Lawmakers in the National Assembly are set for showdown as the federal legislature continues the consideration of the amendment of the Electoral Act on Thursday. The crux of the mounting conflagration in the National Assembly is the rejection of the All Progressives Congress (APC) of the clause on electronic transmission of elections results in the Electoral Act.

A source from the National Assembly told National Daily that the APC decision is that the clause should be expunged and replaced with the clause that the “Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) should determine how best to implement the electronic transmission of results during elections.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) lawmakers in the House are insisting that the clause on electronic transmission of results in elections must be substantively established in the Electoral Act. The APC lawmakers were said to be opposed to the idea of retaining electronic transmission of results in the Electoral Act being amended towards ensuring transparency in Nigerian elections.

Electronic transmission of results was said to be adopted in the governorship election in Edo State, which forestalled the rigging of the election.

The electronic transmission of results, according to the lawmakers, simply implies transmission of election results from each polling unit, then the ward, local government, and the state direct to the INEC server in Abuja. The figures would be readily available at the website, making alteration of figures difficult for electoral officers.

The Eight National Assembly had inserted electronic transmission of results in the amended 2019 Electoral Act submitted to President Muhammadu Buhari for ascent, which the president declined.

Somes stakeholders have argued that electronic transmission of results was tried in the Edo governorship, and it worked; adding that APC leaders do not want it to be used at the centre because they will lose.

Meanwhile, the House members are battle ready for Thursday’s rowdy session, keeping their eyes on the Deputy Speaker, Ahmed Idris Wase, who will be presiding over the House sitting for consideration and adoption of the amendment bill. The deputy speaker would be reading out the clauses for consideration and adoption by the House members.

Meanwhile, the process in which the deputy speaker coordinates the consideration and adoption of the PIB, has continued to generate controversies as the law, itself, clearly punishes southern Nigeria for ownership of crude oil deposits and rewards northern Nigeria for not owning oil wells.

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