By Mukwuzi joseph
Senators affiliated with the ruling All Progressives Congress, on Thursday, voted against the electronic transmission of results.
The original 52(3) as contained in the report under consideration read: “The Commission may transmit results of elections by electronic means where and when practicable.”
But an APC senator from Niger North, Sabi Abdullahi, amended the clause to read, “INEC may consider electronic collation of results, provided the national network coverage is adjudged to be adequate and secured by the Nigerian Communications Commission and approved by the National Assembly.”
Senate President, Ibrahim Lawan, ruled in favor of the amendment when he conducted a voice vote.
There was a disagreement and the Minority Leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe, called for a division that would require individual voting on the floor.
Lawan sustained Abaribe’s point of order and called for a division.
At the end of the poll, 88 senators voted, while 28 were not available to vote.
The outcome of the election showed that 52 APC senators, including the chairman of the Senate INEC committee, Kabiru Gaya, voted against the panel’s report, which gives the electoral umpire the sole power to determine the practicability of electronic transmission of results.
The Peoples Democratic Party members on the floor all voted in favor of electronic transmission of results by INEC without interference from either the NCC or the National Assembly.
The APC members, while casting their votes against the amendment, attributed their decision to the claim of the NCC that only 43 percent of the country has network coverage.
According to what they voted for, NCC and the National Assembly will take over the work of INEC by transmitting the results against the backdrop that INEC cannot carry out the electronic transmission of results unless the NCC and the National Assembly approved.