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Senate Constitutes Conference Committee on Electoral Act

By Ignatius Okorocha

Ahead of 2023 general election, President of the Senate,  Ahmad Lawan on Wednesday at plenary constituted a seven man conference committee on Electoral Act (amendment bill)

The Electoral Act conference committee which is to be headed by the Senate Leader,  Abdullah Yahaya is mandated to harmonize the differences in the bill as passed by Senate and the House of Representatives.

Other members of the committee as named by the Senate President are:

Senator Kabiru Gaya to represent North West;  Senator  Ajibola Bashir to represent South West;  Senator Danjuma Goje , North West .

Others are,  Senator Uche Ekwunife , to represent South East and Senator  Mathew Urhoghide to represent South South.

The committee is to meet with the House of Representatives.

Recall that there was an uproar on the floor of the Senate on July Thursday 15, 2021 over the mode of transmission of results by the Independent National Electoral Commission on election day.

This was as the upper chamber passed the long expected Electoral Act amendment to guide the National Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) in the conduct of the nation’s future elections.

Trouble started when the upper chamber attempted to amend Clause 52 (3) of the new Electoral Act.

Senate Committee on INEC and Electoral Matters had recommended that INEC should reserve the power to transmit results by electronic means where applicable on the day of election.

However, Senator representing Niger North, Sabi Abdullahi said that the power to determine the practicability of electronic transmission should be saddled with the Nigerian Communications Commission with the approval of the National Assembly

Senate had began the clause-by clause consideration of the recommendations of Its Committee on INEC on Electoral Act Amendment Bill 2021.

Section 52(3) of the bill had prescribed that INEC may adopt electronic voting and transmission of result  processes or any other method of voting in any election it conducts as it may  deem fit.

The section which provided for INEC to determine electronic process of voting was however amended to empower the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) to determine the suitability of network to conduct electronic election processes  with  approval of the National Assembly.

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