Nigeria’s Senate approves electronic voting, rejects electronic transmission of election results

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Photo: The Nigerian Senate

The Nigerian Senate on Thursday voted in favor of electronic voting but rejected the electronic transmission of election results in the Electoral Amendment Bill.

All the votes against the move came from the senators of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

Rejecting the electronic transmission, the Senate ruled that INEC must seek approval from the Nigerian Communications Commission and the National Assembly on areas that have network or not before electronic transmission of results is done.

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Twenty-eight lawmakers had voted for the electronic transmission of results while fifty-two lawmakers voted against it.

In the results announced by the Clerk of the Senate and validated by Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, eighty lawmakers cast their votes with twenty-eight lawmakers absent.

Earlier, the clause-by-clause consideration of the electoral bill was disrupted by disagreement among the lawmakers over Section 52(3) of the bill.

The section deals with the electronic transmission of results during elections.

It states ” The Commission may transmit results of elections by electronic means where and when practicable.”

The Senate Deputy Whip, Sabi Abdullahi had moved to amend the section to read, “The commission may consider electronic transmission provided the national network coverage is adjudged to be adequate and secure by the Nigerian Communications Commission and approved by the National Assembly,” he proposed.

His opinion however stirred grumbling in the chamber but the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, moved that they vote on the amendment.

When put to vote, the resounding “nays” were louder than the “ayes” but Mr Lawan ruled in favour of the amendment.

Akwa Ibom senator, Bassey Akpan, moved that the clause be re-amended to the initial section as contained in the bill.

Another vote was done and Mr Lawan again ruled in favour of Mr Abdullahi’s amendment.

Loud arguments and chaos followed as unsatisfied lawmakers were seen leaving their seats and shouting – making it unable for either the chief whip or Senate President to control the lawmakers.

While the yelling lasted for more than 15 minutes Mr Lawan called for an executive session.

The issue of electronic transmission of election results has been a major recommendation from Nigerians and the lawmakers at some point, attempted to omit that section from the legislation.

Shortly after the executive session, Senators voted on the mode of transmission of results by the Independent National Electoral Commission on election day.

Below is the list of how the lawmakers voted::

A COMPILATION OF SENATORS VOTE FOR OR AGAINST ELECTRONIC TRANSMISSION OF ELECTION RESULTS (A few names still missing)

Robert Ajayi Boroffice YES
Surajudeen Basiru NO
Adenugba Fadahunsi YES
Clifford Ordia YES
Matthew Urhoghide YES
Francis Alimikhena NO
Kola Balogun YES
Ezekiel Ayuba NO
Abubakar Kyari NO
Gyang Istifanus YES
Senator Gyagung Ladi NO
George Sekibo YES
Ali Ndume NO
Opeyemi Bamidele NO
Biodun Olujimi YES
Mpigi Barinada YES
Betty Apiafi YES
Gobir Abdullahi NO
Abdullahi Danbaba NO
Philip Aduda YES
Chukwuka Utazi YES
Mohammed Goje NO
Danbaba YES
Yusuf Yusuf NO
Isa Shuaibu Lau NO
Mohammed Goje NO
Bomai Ibrahim Mohammed NO
Francis Onyewuchi YES
Yau Sahabi NO
Uba Sani NO
Danjuma La’ah YES
Kabiru Gaya NO
Ishaku Elisha Abo NO
Baba Kaita NO
Adamu Aliero NO
Yahaya Abdullahi NO
Yakubu Oseni NO
Isa Jibrin NO
Smart Adeyemi NO
Ibrahim Oloriegbe NO
Oluremi Tinubu NO
Solomon Adeola NO
Tanko Al-Makura NO
Godiya Akwashiki NO
Abdullahi Adamu NO
Musa Mohammed Sani NO
Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi NO
Bima Enagi NO
Patrick Akinyelure YES

FINAL VOTE FIGURES ON ELECTRONIC TRANSMISSION
AYES: 28
NAYS: 52
ABSENT: 28
ABSTAIN: 0

TOTAL VOTES: 80
TOTAL NO. OF REGISTERED SENATORS: 109
(as announced by Clerk of Senate and validated by Senate President, Ahmad Lawan)

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