PDP members stage walkout as House of Reps members pass Electoral Act bill

 

House of Rep
The controversial Electoral Act(Amendment) Bill has been passed today July 16 by the House of Representatives just as members of the PDP caucus in the House staged a walkout from the chamber during the debate.

 

The House had suspended plenary and consideration of the bill following disagreement among members on the mode of transmitting election results on Thursday, July 15. It invited the Nigeria Communication Commission(NCC) to educate members on the implications and possibility of electronic transmission of results.

 

Shortly after officials of the NCC left the chamber, Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila announced the resumption of consideration of the report after digesting the comments of the NCC officials beginning from Clause 52.

 

Clause 52 allows the Independent National Electoral Commission to determine when, where and how voting and transmission of results will be done. While some members support the electronic transmission of results, others argued that not all areas in the country are covered by mobile networks and so the electronic transmission of results cannot work.

 

Clause 52(2) reads,

“Voting at an election and transmission of result under this bill shall be in accordance with the procedure determined by the commission.”

 

Several efforts to seek amendments to the clause had caused crisis in the House, forcing the lawmakers to spend two days on the exercise. At today’s plenary, the lawmakers invited the Nigeria Communication Commission(NCC) to educate members on the implications and possibility of electronic transmission of results.

 

Shortly after officials of the NCC left the chamber, Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila announced the resumption of consideration of the report after digesting the comments of the NCC officials beginning from Clause 52. However, Deputy Speaker Idris Wase, who presided over consideration of reports, skipped clause 52, forcing Deputy Minority Leader, Hon Toby Okechukwu to call for a point of order. Refusal of Wase to call for a point of order led PDP leader, Ndudi Elumelu and the PDP members to revolt as they staged a walk out.

 

The House without the PDP members debated on the bill and passed it. According to electoral bill passed, INEC may transmit results of an election through electronic means where and when practicable.