Open-secret ballot system confirmed for use as INEC ballot boxes arrive NASS

Clerk of National Assembly, Mr Mohammed Sani -Omolori, has taken possession of some ballot boxes from Independent National Electoral Commission.

A member of the management staff of INEC told one of our correspondents on condition of anonymity on Monday that the boxes had been kept in the offices of both clerks of Senate and House of Representatives.

He said, “The issue of voting method is no longer in contention. The ballot boxes supplied by INEC are already in the possession and safe custody of the clerks of both red and green chambers.

“The lawmakers are aware that they would elect their presiding officers via open-secret method as contained in House Rule booklets in their possession.

“We are looking forward to a peaceful election tomorrow (today) because adequate arrangements have been perfected around the National Assembly complex, the premises and inside the chambers.”

One of our correspondents had reported that the management of the federal parliament took the decision to avoid rancour on Tuesday (today).

A senior employee of the nation’s legislature had said, “There were attempts to amend the rules of both chambers to give room for open ballot but the idea was frustrated by the outgoing leadership.

“I’m aware that advocates of the open ballot method mounted pressure on the outgoing Senate President, Bukola Saraki and Speaker, Yakubu Dogara, and stressed the need to amend the rules in line with the global practice.

“There is no way the management will come up with a voting method different from what is contained in the Rule Book that had been distributed to elected members since April,” the senior civil servant had said.

A leading member of Ahmad Lawan campaign group, Mr Ibrahim Gobir, and senator-elect from Sokoto State, confirmed on Tuesday that the Rule Book in his possession provided for an open-secret poll.

Gobir, who fielded questions from journalists shortly after completing his documentation process on Monday, said the 2015 Rule Book would be used for the election.

He said, “The voting pattern is provided in our standing rules; so I don’t think that it is going to be a problem. We are going to make use of the 2015 Standing Rules (which provided for open -secret ballot).”

Attempts to speak with the Director of Information, Rawlings Agada, on the issue failed on Monday as calls made to his mobile phone did not connect.

 

Punch

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