The Southern and Middle-Belt Alliance (SaMBA) says the setting up of a conference committee on the amendment of the Electoral Act is a unique and golden opportunity for the Senate to redeem its battered image.
The group stated that the seven-member committee set up by the Senate on Wednesday should proactively adopt the House of Representatives version of Section 52 (3) of the bill.
It further warned that the Senate should not subject powers of the Independent Electoral Commission to the approval of the National Communications Commission.
The organisation in its statement signed by its spokesman, Rwang Pam Jr., noted that it’s an anomaly for the Senate’s to subject INEC’s most important function to the approval of the NCC.
To address this anomaly, SaMBA recommended that the transmission of election results via electronic means should be as a matter of course and should be part of INEC’s core functions as it minimises the plausibility of interference.
“The transmission of election results by electronic means is the pathway to a trusted, valid, free and fair election results,” SaMBA stated.
“If the Nigerian Senate truly believes in free and fair elections, then the use of electronic means to transmit election results must and should be included in the Electoral Act.
“We expect the senators in the conference committee to adopt Section 52 (3) House of Representatives version of the amendment bill which stipulates that, ‘The Commission may transmit results of elections by electronic means where and when practicable’.
“Adopting the House of Representatives version of the Amendment Bill will give credibility to our elections, which in turn will earn the country a respectable position in the comity of nations.
“Failure to embrace the electronic transfer of election results will make Nigeria and the National Assembly a laughingstock.”