The House of Representatives has passed the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill, maintaining the controversial Clause 52(2) as presented.
The clause allows the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to determine when, where and how voting and transmission of results will be done.
Clause 52(2) reads: “Voting at an election and transmission of result under this bill shall be in accordance with the procedure determined by the commission.”
Earlier, there was a rowdy session in the House as the Deputy Speaker, Ahmed Wase, skipped Section 52 where consideration of the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill was suspended on Thursday.
After asking officials of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) a series of questions, the Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, said the information from the agency would guide the lawmakers on the controversial Clause 52(2) which is about voting and transmission of election results.
The House 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 form the minority caucus.
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.
Wasea submission caused another division in the House, with the lawmakers polarised along regional and party lines, causing rowdiness in the chamber for several hours, during which several lawmakers engaged themselves in shouting matches.
The minority caucus, led by the Minority Leader, Ndudi Elumelu, staged a walk out in protest.
Recall that Wase had ruled that the ‘nays’ had it on Thursday, even when the ‘ayes’ were louder than the ‘nays,’ a development that threw the assembly into a rowdy session.