The Senator representing the Kwara Central, Ibrahim Oloriegbe, citing Orders 41 and 51 presented a motion on the need to call for calm and appeal to political parties, stakeholders and Nigerians to abide by the rule of law on the election process in the just concluded election.
He was backed by other senators in the All Progressives Congress, stating that it was very important for the highest legislative body to be involved to bring calm to the raging storm among political parties.
Oloriegbe, however, urged all political actors, leaders and every Nigerian to remain calm and allow collation and announcement of the presidential and National Assembly elections to proceed based on the provisions of the Electoral Act.
In his submission, Sani Musa, said, “It is very clear that accreditation and verification are to be done by the BVAS. We are not voting electronically for that real-time transmission to happen. Transmission can only happen after it has been published on BVAS. So it is not real-time. We are not a court to interpret but INEC has a responsibility to stick to guidelines.
“It is a simple process and that process after publishing, they send it to back-end servers and it is after then that INEC can put it on IREV. INEC has been attacked over 160 times and nobody has been making any issue about that.”
Opeyemi Bamidele wants INEC to do the right thing based on the Electoral Act. He said Nigerians should be patient for INEC to complete the process while also calling on the judiciary to do the right thing. He noted that the judiciary should not allow itself to be dragged into interfering with the elections without passing through the proper process.
However, trouble started when the opposition led by Senator Betty Apiafi said it was wrong to bring up the issues at such a critical time like this. And particularly it wasn’t in the place to state what the guidelines of the INEC should be.
While the All Progressives senators wanted the motion and the prayers to be heard, the opposition senators disagreed with the motion.
Senator Orker-Jev also added, “The best way is to step down this order because if we are already generating this kind of controversy, imagine what will happen out there.”
Senator Adamu Bulkachuwaalso noted that the Senate should stay clear of the issues due to the controversy ongoing on the results.
He said, “Whatever happens in the collation centre and in the social media, the Senate should not involve in it.
“We passed the Electoral Act and for goodness sake, if we don’t stop this motion down, there will be endless controversy on party lines and God knows what it will generate in the public domain.”
Also, the deputy minority, Senator Chukwuka Utazi, said, “I think we have exhaustively looked at issues concerned here. As a parliament, it is our duty to stabilise the polity to calm the nerves of people that are agitated as a result of the last election on 25th February.
“We are here to appeal to our people to follow the law and we are asking all the agencies of government to follow what the law stipulates.”
“This is a very controversial matter; everywhere is tense, and people are very apprehensive. The only way out of it is for INEC to stick to the Constitution and the Electoral Act. INEC should stick to their guideline. That is the only solution,” Senator Uche Ekwunife, said.
The Ekiti South senator, Biodun Olujimi said, “This process is still an ongoing process and INEC should follow its own guidelines & the Electoral Law. We should not ignite violence and the best way is to ask everybody to maintain peace and order while we go through this process and finish it properly.”
In this comment, Lawan said what was passed was snapping of election results and transfer to the server.
Lawan said, “In the Electoral Act that we passed, there is nothing like the electoral transmission. What we have passed is to transfer after all the paper works that we normally do while the agents and everybody there have the papers.
“INEC will now scan or snap the result sheets and transfer them. We urge INEC to follow the Electoral Act and other laws on their guidelines.”
Lawan further added, “In this Chamber, we are not going to interpret the Electoral Act. This is not a Court of Law. We are just to guide this debate and talk about the general principles of how this election and declaration should be done. There is no need to stress ourselves.
“What we are doing is to urge INEC to follow the law and the citizens should be calm.”
Lawan said anyone who is not satisfied with the verdict of INEC should go to court.