Friday , September 24 2021

Conference Committee on Electoral Act: “You have a unique opportunity to make history and redeem your battered image” – SaMBA Tells Senate

The Southern and Middle-Belt Alliance (SaMBA) has advised the Senate that the setting up of a Conference Committee on the amendment of the Electoral Act on 22nd September 2021, by the Senate President, Senator Ahmad Lawan is a unique and golden opportunity for them to redeem their battered image.

The Group stated that the 7-member committee set up by the Senate yesterday should proactively adopt the House of Representatives version of Section 52 (3), of the Bill, and further warned that the Senate should not subject powers of the Independent Electoral Commission, INEC, to the approval of the National Communication Commission.

The Organisation in its statement signed by their Spokesman; Rwang Pam Jr. stated that the setting up of a Conference Committee on the amendment of the Electoral Act by the Senate President is a golden opportunity for the Senate to redeem its battered image as a result of its prior decision to subject the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) power of transmission of elections results through electronic means to the approval of National Communication Commission (NCC).

SAMBA pointed out the anomaly in the Senate’s prior decision to subject INEC ‘s most important function to the approval of the NCC. To address this anomaly, SaMBA recommended that the transmission of Election results via electronic means should be as a matter of course and should be part of INEC’s core functions as it minimises the plausibility of interference.

“The transmission of elections results by electronic means is the pathway to a trusted, valid, free and fair election results”, SaMBA stated and added: “If the Nigerian Senate truly believed in trusted, free and fair elections, then the use of electronic means to transmit elections results must and should be included in the Electoral Act.

“We expect the Senators in the Conference Committee to adopt section 52 (3) House of Representatives version of the amendment bill which stipulated that, “The Commission may transmit results of elections by electronic means where and when practicable”

“Adopting the House of Representatives version of the Amendment bill will give credibility to our elections which in turn will earn the country a respectable position among the comity of nations. Failure to embrace the electronic transfer of election results will make Nigeria, and, the National Assembly a laughingstock.

“We, therefore, emphasize that the transmission of Elections results through electronic means is the pathway to a trusted, valid, free and fair elections in Nigeria,”

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