Electoral Bill Passage Deadlocked, Reps Summon INEC, NCC

There was stalemate in the passage of the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill at the House of Representatives on Thursday, forcing the Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, to adjourn plenary till Friday.

On Friday, the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof Mahmood Yakubu; and Executive Vice Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Communications Commission, Prof Umar Danbatta, are to brief the chamber on the implication of having election results transmitted electronically.

The House spent about two hours on clause 52(2) of the bill as several attempts to have it amended were overruled by the Deputy Speaker, Ahmed Wase, who presided over the Committee of the Whole to consider the clauses of the bill.

The clause caused a division in the House, causing rowdiness in the chamber for several hours.

Gbajabiamila was forced to take over from Wase and summoned the INEC and NCC bosses.

The Speaker then called for adjournment of plenary immediately.

But for the development, the House was to begin the two-month annual recess on Thursday.

Protests as Wase overrules majority votes on electronic transmission of poll results

The Deputy Speaker, Ahmed Wase, had overruled the voice vote on the electronic transmission of election results, turning the chamber into rowdiness.

Wase, who presided over the clause-by-clause consideration of the report, had put clause 52(2) to voice vote.

While the ayes were more than the nays, he ruled that the nays had it, forcing many members rise in protest against the ruling.

Several lawmakers had dashed towards where he was seated, forcing the sergeants-at-arms to secure the mace and the Deputy Speaker.

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The Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, watched from where he was seated while the protests lasted about 15 minutes.

The Punch

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