House of Reps back-pedal, pledge to include e-collation clause in Electoral Bill

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The members of the House of Representatives have resolved to include a clause that allows the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) to collate results electronically in the new Electoral Act Amendments Bill.

Recall that the National Assembly (NASS) has over the past few days been criticized over an alleged plan to alter a bill proposal submitted by the Joint Committee of the National Assembly on Electoral Amendments.

Fifteen (15) Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) have shown their discontent at the alleged move by the National Assembly (NASS) to alter the changes proposed in the Electoral Amendment Bill.

IssueApproved TextForged Text
Release of INEC funds – Section 3(3)To be released in yearly instalments starting two years before election and ending not later than 180 days to the electionTo be released not later than one year before election (no provision for    instalments)
Electronic Transmission of Results – Section 50(2)Procedure for voting and transmission of results to be determined by INECProcedure for voting of results to be determined by INEC, provided that transmission of results shall not be electronic
Declaration of Scores Under Duress – Section 65Decision of a Returning Officer on declaration of scores and return of candidate shall be final, provided that INEC can within 7 days review the declaration and determine that is was made under duress or contrary to the provisions of the lawDecision of a Returning Officer on declaration of scores and return of candidate shall be final (no power of INEC to review)
Judicial Review of INEC Decision – Section 76INEC’s decision not to register a party can be challenged in court, provided that legal action is commenced within 14 days from the date of receipt of the decisionINEC’s decision not to register a party can be challenged in court, provided that legal action is commenced within 45 days from the date of receipt of the decision
Campaign Financing – Section 88Limits on campaign expenses: President N1B; Governor N200M, Senate N40M , House of Reps N30M, State House of Assembly N10MLimits on campaign expenses increased as follows: President N15B; Governor N5B, Senate N1.5B, House of Reps N500M, State House of Assembly N50M

The spokesman for the lower chamber of the National Assembly, Rep. Benjamin Kalu(APC-Abia), was reported by Vanguard to have assured of the inclusion of the clause to allow for electronic transmission of results collated from elections in 2023 and pass it into law before adjournment for a long recess next week.

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“People are speaking up too soon; I say so, because the report is not before the House, as we speak now.

“It becomes the official document of the House, once the report is law, so, I suggest that we stop speculating so that we don’t this misconception that will alter the perception of the public on the House.

“It is an unfounded assumption. Speculation should not be used, to slight the image of the House. You know what misinformation, information overload has caused nations. We should stop peddling these assumptions. Let’s wait till the report is laid.

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“The Electoral Act, will include e-transmission of results. Like I said, if you say assurance, I want to assure you that it will be there. But we have not seen the report; we will receive the report, probably this week then we can comment on it, but for now, as you know, we are still in the process of lawmaking.

“After laying the report, it doesn’t mean that it has been passed. It has to go through the process of clause-by-clause consideration. Until we pass those nine yards, there is still room for us to add or subtract to this piece of legislation that we are structuring for the Nigerian people.

“As I always say, it must reflect the ambition, the hunger of every Nigerian that is desirous of advancing our democracy. These laws are not meant just for ourselves; it’s not self-serving”.

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