Senate empowers INEC to determine electronic transmission of election results

The senate had empowered NCC to determine if INEC can transmit results electronically.

Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, and Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege [Tope Brown]

The Nigerian Senate has back-tracked from an earlier unpopular stance of preventing the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from transmitting election results electronically.

In July, 52 senators voted for the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to first certify that nationwide coverage of the internet is guaranteed before electronic transmission of results can be carried out, thereby stripping INEC of its powers as stipulated in the constitution.

The House of Representatives had permitted INEC to deploy technology during elections "where practicable."

INEC has repeatedly stated that electronic transmission of election results can be implemented nationwide.

During plenary today, October 12, 2021, the senate ruled that the electoral umpire will now have to decide how to transmit election results--whether manually or electronically.

Senate Leader Yahaya Abdullahi, moved the motion for amendments to the electoral amendment bill.

Subsequently, four clauses in the bill were approved by the senate in "the committee of the whole” following a voice vote call by Senate President Ahmad Lawan.

The lawmakers had been widely lampooned in the mainstream and social media spaces for attempting to stonewall electronic transmission of election results.

Analysts say electronic transmission of election results is capable of making Nigeria's elections transparent and difficult to manipulate, while strengthening the democratic process in Africa's most populous nation.

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