Electoral Act Amendment Bill Brief Timeline
If you can remember, INEC experimented with the “electronic transmission of vote” during the Edo State gubers, #EdoNoBeLagos, results were transmitted live on INEC’s portal and it helped in transparency giving all Edolites and Nigerians to know “who is winning where and what?”
Shebi, you know that any policy that contradicts its constitutional provision and the act that enabled it is capable of being declared null and void?
That as why there was the need to ammend the Electoral Act (2010) to empower INEC to employ electronic resources in its responsibility.
The bill has been brought to the house since 2018 however the President, Muhammadu Buhari, has declined to assent to the bill at 3 different times citing the reasons of constitution usurpation, drafting errors/issues and proximity to the the then 2019 elections (which ECOWAS electoral protocol also stated) respectively.
Electoral Amendment Bill Sponsor: Senator Ovie Omo-Agege [ (Delta Central) All Progressive]
Year of sponsorship: 2019
Purpose: Empowering INEC to conduct electronic elections
Legislative Chamber: Senate
Stage: Bill Passed
You can check the stage of the bill using NASS’ Electoral Act Amendment Bill tracker
The electoral act amendment bill has been passed just as Senate President, Senator Ahmed Lawan, has assured the EU-SDGN (European Union Support Democratic Governance in Nigeria) partners, a commission seemingly interested in enhancing the credibility of elections in Nigeria, that by July 2021 the bill will be passed.
Electronic Transmission of Election Results Clause
The electronic transmission of results clause [Clause 52 (3)] is perhaps the most essential in the bill.
It will enable Nigerians to have the election results transmitted via electronic resources such as live portals as it was done in the Edo State Governorship Election 2021.
The whole bill, and this clause, sadly, has been tampered with at the National Assembly by a *109*( 52/28-28) vote: 52 Senators have voted in support of an electronic transmission of results that must be determined by the National Communication Commission ( a Government and political-inclusive apparatus) and must be approved by the National Assembly (a people who will run in elections themselves).
Electoral Act Ammendment Bill: Top 3 Implications
The bill as has been passed now will mean;
- that NCC will be the one to determine if the nation’s ICT resources are okay enough for the e-voting
- that NASS will still have the say as to whether INEC should go ahead or not even if NCC finds it doable.
- The Nigeria general election and state election may not be conducted via e-voting and/or e-transmission of results.
NCC’s supervision and NASS’ approval ——2 unnecessary political barriers in front of an apolitical and “independent” commission-INEC!
Another ploy by these politicians to avoid transparency in the electoral process and to ensure they can recycle themselves into public office.
If JAMB is empowered by law to transmit examination results of JAMBITES (JAMB candidates) to it website why shouldn’t INEC be empowered to transmit polling results to its website live! This is one among my 5 questions to the Nigerian Senate as regarding the electronic transmission of results
I’ve written 8 effective ways to prevent electoral malpractices in Nigeria, let us start by actualising each of the steps.
We have the right to free and fair elections and as such let us defend our democracy before it us destroyed.
*109*(52/28-28) is the political formula of what happened in the Senate when the electoral act amendment bill was passed.