The Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill was on Friday passed by the Federal House of Representatives maintaining the controversial Clause 52(2) as presented.
The new amendment provides that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) may consider electronic transmission [section 52(3)] so far as the national network coverage is adjudged to be adequate and secure by Nigeria Communication Commission (NCC) and approved by the National Assembly.
The Clause 52(2) states that “voting at an election and transmission of result under this bill shall be in accordance with the procedure determined by the commission.”
There was commotion in the House earlier when the Deputy Speaker, Ahmed Wase, skipped Section 52 where consideration of the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill was suspended on Thursday.
The opposition lawmakers majorly from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) walked out of the session insisting that the clause was never carried.
The lawmakers, after engaging officials of the Nigerian Communications Commission in a series of questions, the Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, said that information gathered from the agency would help the lawmakers on the controversial Clause 52(2), which is about voting and transmission of election results.
The House subsequently reverted to Committee of the Whole, which was presided over by Wase, to continue with the consideration.
Wase, however, called for a vote from Clause 54, which generated protests.
The Deputy Minority Leader, Toby Okechukwu, raised a point of order to recall that the session on Thursday was halted when the consideration got to Clause 52. He also recalled that several members called for division of the House, which Wase overruled.
The Deputy Speaker, however, denied blocking division of the House, adding that Clause 52 had already been voted on and passed.