National News

Nigerian Senate Approves Electoral Act Amendment Bill 

By Emmanuella Soroghaye 

The Senate on Tuesday approved the conference committee report on the Electoral Act Amendment Bill.

The report was approved after the Senate Leader, Yahaya Abdullahi, moved a motion on Tuesday.
The Senate and House of Representatives had in July passed different versions of the bill.

While the Senate proposed either direct or indirect mode of party primary, the House of Representatives made direct primary mandatory for all parties.

The Senate had also in its version, empowered the Nigerian Communications Commission to determine the electronic transmission of election results.
The House did not give such powers to the NCC in its version.
The provision caused an outrage, with many calling on the Senate to follow the example of the House of Representatives which adopted the use of technology “where practicable.”

The development led to the setting up of a conference committee.

In the conference committee report, both chambers of the National Assembly empowered the Independent National Electoral Commission to determine the best mode to transmit election results.

The electoral commission will now have to decide how to transmit election results — either electronically or manually.

Both chambers also approved that all political parties must use the direct primary mode in picking candidates.

A clean copy of the bill is expected to be produced and sent by the clerk to the National Assembly, Mr Amos Ojo to President Muhammadu Buhari, for assent.

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