Senate, reps begin voting on constitution amendments


The senate and the house of representatives have begun the voting process on the fifth alteration of the 1999 constitution.


Senate President Ahmad Lawan announced on Tuesday that senators will use electronic voting and not the voice-vote method they use for the confirmation of nominees and the passing of bills and motions.


Ovie Omo-Agege, deputy president of the senate and chairman of the review of the constitution, is currently presenting a report on the amendment bill before voting will commence.


The process in the lower legislative chamber is also underway.


Lawan said only bills that are passed in both chambers of the national assembly will be sent to the state houses of assembly.


“For today’s exercise, we will use electronic voting. We have tested the system and it is working,” the senate president said.


“Omo-Agege will present the report. We will listen to his presentation and we can take comments and we will thereafter go into the voting process.


“I will announce the bill then we will take it as it is presented in the report and senators will each register with our cards.


”It will take us 30 seconds to vote. You will press the button for registration. Then there is registration, ‘Yes, no and abstain’. Voting will take another 30 seconds.


“If you don’t vote within 30 seconds, you have lost your vote. If a bill passes in the senate and the house, such bill would have passed in the national assembly and will be sent to states.


“If a bill passes in the senate but fails to pass in the house, that bill is dead – and vice versa.”


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