OrderPaperToday – The Senate has passed the electoral bill to empower the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to determine the procedure for voting and transmission of results during an election.

The development followed the consideration of the report of the Harmonization Conference Committee of the Senate and House of Representatives on Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill, 2021.

Recall that the Senate President Ahmad Lawan, on October 13, 2021, constituted a seven-man conference committee to meet with their counterparts in the House. This was to enable them to harmonize the differences in the Senate and House versions of the bill. Also, recall that the red chamber on October 13, 2021, re-amended certain aspects of the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill contained in Clauses 43, 52, 63 and 87, respectively.

Thus, the Senate Leader, Yahaya Abdullahi, who chaired the Conference Committee in the Senate, presented the report on the harmonized version of the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill, 2021, which guides election.

Sen. Abdullahi said the bill, when passed by the National Assembly and subsequently assented into law by the President, would regulate the conduct of Federal, State and Area Councils in the Federal Capital Territory Elections. He also disclosed that the Conference Committee also considered and adopted twenty-one clauses in the bill at its retreat.

“It is imperative to point out that with the successful harmonization of this bill, a process that started from the 7th Assembly through to the 8th National Assembly has now been completed by the 9th National Assembly. Therefore, I am happy to state that most of what we call “citizens top priorities on the Electoral Act Amendment, including the use of technology, have been addressed by the Electoral Bill, 2021,” the Senate Leader said.

Additionally, the re-amendment to the clauses was duly carried out amid a motion for re-committal sponsored by Senator Yahaya Abdullahi.

While adopting the conference committee’s report, the Senate approved the re-amended clauses to provide for direct primaries for aspirants to all elective positions.

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