INEC panel chair votes against own report
Members of the All Progressives Congress in the Senate on Thursday voted against electronic transmission of results.
The Committee had, in the report, recommended in Section 52(3) that, INEC “may transmit results of elections by electronic means where and when practicable.”
But an APC senator from Niger North, Sabi Abdullahi, amended the clause to read, “INEC may consider electronic collation of results, provided the national network coverage is adjudged to be adequate and secured by the Nigerian Communications Commission and approved by the National Assembly.”
Members of the Committee on Communications had earlier informed the chamber that the NCC had declared that only 43 per cent of the country was currently under effective telecommunications coverage.
Senate President, Ibrahim Lawan, ruled in favour of the amendment when he conducted a voice vote.
There was a disagreement and the Minority Leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe, called for a division which would require individual voting on the floor.
Lawan sustained Abaribe’s point of order and called for a division.At the end of the poll, 88 senators voted, while 28 were not available to vote.
The outcome of the election showed that 52 APC senators, including the chairman of the Senate INEC committee, Kabiru Gaya, voted against the panel’s report, which gives the electoral umpire the sole power to determine the practicability of electronic transmission of results.
The Peoples Democratic Party members on the floor all voted in favour of electronic transmission of results by INEC without interference from either the NCC or the National Assembly.
The APC members, while casting their votes against the amendment, attributed their decision to the claim of the NCC that only 43 per cent of the country has network coverage.
The PDP senators, on the other hand, said allowing the NCC and the National Assembly to meddle in the affairs of INEC will affect the integrity of the polls.