The Nigerian Senate has empowered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to determine the best mode to transmit election results.
This is coming after months of bashings from the public over its resolution on the electronic transmission of election results, which took away INEC’s independence and power to determine when and where to transmit results electronically without external interference.
The upper legislative chamber on Tuesday rescinded its decision on the electoral act amendment bill.
The electoral commission will now have to decide how to transmit election results — either electronically or manually.
Direct primary mode in picking candidates was also approved for all political parties.
The senate approved four clauses in the electoral act amendment bill.
Yahaya Abdullahi, senate leader, said there is a need to make “necessary amendments” to the bill, while moving a motion to rescind the earlier decision.
“After critical examination of the bill by the senate committee on INEC, some fundamental issues which requires fresh legislative action on the following clauses 43, 52, 63 and 87 were observed,” he said.
“Desirous of the need to address the observations by the committee and make necessary amendments; and relying on order 1(b) and 53(b) of the senate standing order.”
Enyinnaya Abaribe, senate minority leader, had argued that parties should be allowed to use whatever mode of primary election that suits them.
“The original situation was that the party was left with choices to determine what suits them,” Abaribe noted.
“Not all parties have capacity to do direct primaries. I think we may have to leave it open.”
But Opeyemi Bamidele, senator representing Ekiti central, said the provision for compulsory use of direct primary mode for political parties will ensure that every member of a political party participates in the process.
“With respect to conduct of primaries, this is to ensure that every party member participates in the process,” Bamidele said.
“It is a way of giving power back to the people.”