A fight broke out today at the House of Representatives, as lawmakers debated over the Electoral Act Amendment Bill, with a major focus on section 52(3) which deals with electronic transmission of poll results.
The new amendment provides that INEC may consider electronic transmission 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.
All initially seemed well as plenary got underway with deliberations on the matter, however, things began to fall apart after lawmakers voted orally, and Deputy Speaker Idris Wase clanged the gavel ruling against electronic transmission of results despite a resounding chorus in support of E-Transmission.
The House became rowdy as many congressmen frowned at the Deputy Speaker’s action, with some asking that a clear line of demarcation be drawn.
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When the House eventually came to order, deliberations continued on the subject and the lawmakers resolved to vote again regarding the matter.
Another round of votes held and again the Deputy Speaker, despite a resounding vote in favour of an amendment for manual and electronic transmission of results, ruled against the ayes, sending the House into yet another frenzy.
This time it proved almost impossible for the House to be called to order, but decorum returned after a long while.
All was far from over after the House was brought to decorum a second time, even as a motion to suspend consideration and revert to plenary was moved, seconded, but kicked against by members of the Green Chamber.
The house eventually reverted to plenary but in reporting progress, the deputy speaker stated that the controversial clause 52 has been considered and approved, but some lawmakers insisted that this is not the case; it was at this time that yet another heated round of arguments rocked the floor of the hallowed chamber with two lawmakers Ifeanyi Momah and Shehu Koko getting involved in a heated exchange.
Other lawmakers joined the fray while some other honourable colleagues went a great length to restrain those gunning for each other’s necks. This forced the Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila to take back his seat as chair of the House and moved that the session be adjourned.
With the Speaker’s notion seconded, the session was adjourned till Friday 10am to commence from clause 52, with the INEC Chairman and his NCC counterpart in attendance.
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