Senators of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), on Thursday, voted against the electronic transmission of results.
The committee in the report recommended section 52(3) as contained in the report under consideration read: “The Commission may transmit results of elections by electronic means where and when practicable.”
However, Sabi Abdullahi an APC senator from Niger North 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 (NCC) and approved by the National Assembly.”
Earlier, the members of the Committee on Communications had informed the chamber that the NCC had declared that only 43 per cent of the country was currently under effective telecommunications coverage.
Senate President, Ibrahim Lawan however conducted a voice vote and ruled in favour of the amendment.
An argument ensued, which resulted in the Minority Leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe, calling for a division that would require individual voting on the floor. Lawan sustained Abaribe’s point of order and called for a division.
While 88 senators voted, at the end of the poll, 28 were not available to vote.
The outcome of the election ended with 52 APC Senators, including Kabiru Gaya, the chairman of the Senate INEC committee voting against the panel’s report, which gives the electoral umpire the sole power to determine the practicability of electronic transmission of results.
Meanwhile, The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) members on the floor all voted in favour of electronic transmission of results by INEC without interference from either the NCC or the National Assembly.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) members who voted against the amendment, attributed their decision to the claim of the NCC that only 43 per cent of the country has network coverage.
Based on the outcome of the voting, 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.