Spokesperson of the Nigerian Senate, Ajibola Basiru, has said the National Assembly will make available the new Electoral Bill for President Muhammadu Buhari for assent in two weeks time.
Mr Basiru stated this on Wednesday when he appeared as a guest on Channels TV programme,” Politics Today.”
He said the Senate had already set up its conference committee which will interface with the House of Representatives to come out with a clean bill.
PREMIUM TIMES reported how the lawmakers passed the legislation amid chaos and disagreement in the chambers in July before proceeding on recess.
The bill seeks to resolve issues concerning INEC’s introduction of modern technologies into the electoral process, particularly accreditation of voters, electronic voting, and electronic transmission of results from polling units.
A controversial provision in the bill is Section 52, which deals with electronic transmission of results of elections – a major recommendation from Nigerians including INEC.
In the bill passed by the Senate, the Section was changed from; “The Commission may transmit results of elections by electronic means where and when practicable” to “The Commission may consider electronic transmission provided the national network coverage is adjudged to be adequate and secure by the Nigerian Communications Commission and approved by the National Assembly.”
The House, however, retained the former.
It is one of a few disparities in the versions passed by the Senate and the House.
The Senate had on Wednesday set up its conference committee to work with that of the House.
What to expect from joint committee
Speaking during the show, Mr Basiru, who represents Osun Central, stated that the two chambers will set up an equal member committee that will sit and adopt which report to carry before taking it to the plenary for another adoption by their colleagues.
He said whatever is agreed by the committee will be binding on the two chambers, adding that they now await the House to set up its own committee.
“I think the essence of the commitee is to have consensus on areas where certain clauses passed in the bill at the House of Representatives and in the Senate there were differences.
“There were about 17 or 18 items that there were differences in the clauses that were passed.
“Because we practice a bicameral legislature, you have situations whereby fashions of bulls passed in certain clauses differ. A conference committee of equal numbers will be appointed and whatever is agreed by the two committees will be deemed to be what have been passed when it is adopted by the two chambers then it will be forwarded to the president.
“Setting up the committee at the Senate and we expect that the House of Representatives will also set up their own committee and then when we meet, item by item, each of those areas where we have had different versions of clauses adopted, we will either adopt what has been agreed to by the House or we adopt that of the Senate and eventually we will come up with the final bill that will be sent to the President for assent.
“I think similar experience also occurred in relation to the PIA, a conference committee of similar nature was set up and the agreement reached was adopted at the plenary and then forwarded to the president for assent.
“We are confident that in a matter of two weeks, the new Electoral Bill will come to light by the grace of God,” the senator stated.
Some groups have recently called on the harmonisation committee to be set up by National Assembly to adopt the version of the House.
Support PREMIUM TIMES' journalism of integrity and credibility
Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.
For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.
By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.
TEXT AD: To advertise here . Call Willie +2347088095401...