The Nigerian Senate says it stripped the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on electronic transmission of election results and assigned the responsibility to Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) to determine its practicability, due to 43 per cent internet coverage nationwide.
Deputy Senate President, Sen. Ovie Omo-Agege disclosed this on Friday in Benson Idahosa University (BIU) where he delivered a lecture titled: “Nigeria’s democratic experience since 1999: The imperative of reforming the electoral process”.
Omo-Agege, representing Delta Central Senatorial district, said contrary to reports in the Media, Senators did not vote against electronic transmission of election results in the electoral Act amendment Bill 2021, which was passed on Thursday.
However, the House of Representatives has passed the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill, maintaining the controversial Clause 52(2) clause which allows the Independent National Electoral Commission to determine when, where and how voting and transmission of results will be done as presented.
Clause 52(2) reads, “Voting at an election and transmission of result under this bill shall be in accordance with the procedure determined by the commission.”
But Omo-Agege, “This time around, we expanded the focus and brought it onboard.
“The most important thing that we canvassed for was electronic voting. Card reader Authentication and we also supported electronic transmission of election results provided there is a coverage across the Country.
“When you make laws. It has to be uniform for applicability across the Country. You cannot say that the law should be applicable in a certain part of the Country and not applicable in other areas. That is what has happened because we do not have 100 per cent connectivity across the Country.
“We relied on the data from NCC to the effect that presently, Nigeria only have 43 per cent internet connectivity across the Country. What it means is that if you insist on using e-transmission”, he said.