By John Ikani
The National Assembly will make available the new Electoral Bill for President Muhammadu Buhari for assent in two weeks’ time.
This was made known by Spokesperson of the Nigerian Senate, Ajibola Basiru 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.
It would be recalled that the legislation was passed in July by both arms of the National Assembly amid chaos and disagreement.
A controversial provision in the Bill is Section 52, which deals with electronic transmission of results of elections – a major recommendation from Nigerians including the Independent National Electoral Commission (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 Constituency, 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 committee 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,” he said.