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The Nigerian Senate has approved the electronic transmission of results during elections, provided that such areas are adjudged by the National Communications Commission to be adequately covered under its national coverage and approved by the National Assembly.
The approval was sequel to an amendment to Clause 52(3) by Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi during consideration of a report by the Committee on Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
The amendment was seconded by Senator Ali Ndume.
The Committee in its recommendation initially prescribed that, “The Commission (INEC) may transmit results of elections by electronic means where and when practicable.”
This, however, was amended by the Deputy Whip, Senator Sabi Abdullahi to read, “The Commission may consider electronic transmission of results, provided the national coverage is adjudged to be adequate and secure by the National Communications Commission (NCC) and approved by the National Assembly.”
Senators Sabi Abdullahi and Ali Ndume argued that the blanket recommendation by the Committee for electronic transmission of results in all parts of the country would deprive some Nigerians resident in areas with weak or without network coverage from participating in the electoral process.
According to the lawmakers, in order to ensure fairness and inclusiveness for the electorates, particularly in rural areas, an all-inclusive provision must be accommodated in the Electoral Act to protect their participation and votes during elections.
Sabi Abdullahi’s amendment received a favorable ruling by the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, when subjected to a voice vote.
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