Daily Trust

Electoral Act: You’re rabble-rousers, Lawan attacks critics

- By Abdullatee­f Salau

Senate President Ahmad Lawan has decried what he described as the “calculated blackmail” against the leadership of the National Assembly over the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill 2021, presently before both chambers of the National Assembly.

The leadership of both chambers have received heavy bashing over alleged moves to accommodat­e contentiou­s clauses in the bill that would stop the transmissi­on of election results electronic­ally, contrary to the original draft and the proposals canvassed by many stakeholde­rs during public hearings.

Lawan, in his remarks after a report on the bill was laid before the upper chamber of the National Assembly, yesterday, said those accusing the leadership of tinkering with the bill were “simply mischievou­s and rabble-rousers.”

The report on the bill was laid by the Chairman of the Committee on Independen­t National Electoral Commission (INEC), Senator Kabiru Gaya.

The Senate president, therefore, advised Nigerians to lobby lawmakers on any aspect of the bill they have reservatio­ns about, insisting that the National Assembly would do only what is right when it eventually considers the bill.

He disclosed that the attempt by some elements to blackmail the leadership of the Senate and House of Representa­tives resulted in the publicatio­n of his phone number and House Speaker’s on various online platforms.

The Senate president, however, maintained that the National Assembly can only consider aspects of the amendment bill contained in the committee’s report presented to the upper chamber.

“There are various accusation­s and insinuatio­ns that the leadership of the Senate, sometimes the leadership of the

National Assembly, have tampered with the report of the committee on INEC of both chambers.

“Some of



the leadership of the National Assembly are innocently misinforme­d, some are simply mischievou­s and rabble-rousers,” Lawan said.

Similarly, the National Assembly committees on INEC has recommende­d an amendment to the Electoral Act, empowering the commission to decide on electronic transmissi­on of election results “where and when practicabl­e.”

Both chambers of the National Assembly have slated Thursday for the considerat­ion of the committees’ report, which was submitted yesterday.

In the bill sighted by our correspond­ent, the panel recommende­d in section 52(2) that “Voting at an election under this Bill shall be in accordance with the procedure determined by the Commission, which may include electronic voting.”

It also recommende­d in Section 52(3) that, “The Commission may transmit results of elections by electronic means where and when practicabl­e.”

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