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How NCC misled lawmakers, Nigerians on electronic transmission of election results

In the presence of journalists, and an anxious public, the Senate passed the electoral bill on July 15. The next day, again amid chaos, the House of Representatives passed it too.

Allegations of backdoor moves to alter the consensus provisions of the bill were rife prior to the passage, all of which the National Assembly denied.

Long sought by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and craved by many Nigerians, the provision in section 52(3) for the electronic transmission of election results generated the most controversy.

Proponents wanted the National Assembly to legally empower INEC with the responsibility to transmit election results electronically.

However, legislators, especially of the All Progressives Congress, many of whom voted along party lines, voted against it.

At the House of Representatives, the passage of the bill was brokered by a remarkable legislative maneuver which the opposition described as undemocratic.

INEC’s power to transmit election results electronically is now subject to the proposition of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and the approval of the National Assembly.

By doing so, the National Assembly has stripped INEC of the independence it was due, analysts believe.

Source: premium times

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