Opposition members stage walk out as reps pass Electoral Act Amendment Bill, PIB

The House of Representatives has passed the Electoral Amendment Bill, moments after opposition lawmakers walked out of the heated session at the National Assembly chambers in Abuja on Friday. 

Nigeria’s lower chamber, by this, has stepped down the controversial section 52(3) of the bill which deals with the electronic transmission of election results.

The lawmakers had on Thursday failed to reach a consensus over the much-debated clause after the Deputy Speaker, Idris Wale ruled against the electronic transmission of election results in spite of a resounding vote in favour of the move.

Subsequently, the Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, said the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the NCC would be present on Friday to give further clarifications on the Electoral Act with a major focus on section 52(3).

…PIB passed in absence of opposition lawmakers

Meanwhile, the House also adopted the conference Committee report on the Petroleum Industry(PIB) Bill, voting 3 percent for host communities in the oil- producing areas.

The consideration was stepped down on Thursday by the House following a rowdy session.

However as soon as members of the Minority caucus walked out of the Chamber, there were shouts of PIB, PIB, PIB by members.

The report was subsection submitted by Chief Whip, Hon Tahir Mongunu.

Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila explained the laying of the conference report on the PIB followed rules of the House.

According to him: “I need to explain the rationale behind the laying of this report. Yesterday, I stepped down the laying of this report so that we get to the Senate and see how it o resolve the issue.

“But unfortunately, by the time we got to the Senate, they had already resolved and taken a decision. So, there was nothing that we can do.

“It is left for us to deliberate on the report, accept it or reject it. This PIB will not go the same way of others. It is unfortunate that our Colleagues are not here. If there is any amendment to be done, that will be done in the future”.

Deputy Minority Whip, Hon Nkiruka made frantic but efforts to make the House suspend consideration of the report to no avail.

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