Electoral Bill: CSOs task NASS to consider overriding public interest during harmonisation

As Senators and House of Representatives resume plenary today, Tuesday, some coalition of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) operating in Nigeria yesterday tasked the NASS leadership to put the overriding public interest during the harmonisation of clauses in the Electoral Bill, 2021 on the electronic transmission of election results.

The coalition, in a statement signed by the Executive Director of Adopt A Goal for Development Initiative, Ariyo-Dare Atoye, underscored the need for President Muhammadu Buhari to sign the Bill into law before the Anambra governorship election slated for November 6, 2021.

“Nigerians are optimistic that legal wisdom will prevail and the Senate will step down its own version of Clause 52(3) of the Bill that requires the electoral umpire, the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC), to seek the approval of both the Nigerian Communications Commission, (NCC) and the National Assembly before deciding on the use of technology in the transmission of election results.

“The Nigerian people demand that the House of Representatives’ version of clause 52(3) that gave INEC the power to make this decision regarding the electronic transmission of results should prevail at the conference and be retained in the harmonised document.

In this Bill that seeks to repeal and re-enact the 2010 Electoral Act, we appeal to the leadership of the National Assembly not to do anything that will allow the constitutional breach of the powers of INEC to be independent”, Comrade Atoye urged.

Other members of the coalition are: Center for Liberty, Raising New Voices Initiative, Project Vote Initiative, The Nigerian Alliance, The Art and Civics Table and Dinidari Foundation.

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