Senate President Ahmad Lawan has again dismissed insinuations that the leadership of the National Assembly has tampered with the Electoral Act (Amendment) bill under consideration.
The lawmakers have been accused of making moves to accommodate contentious clauses in the bill.
Critics had raised the alarm over an alleged attempt to stop the transmission of election results electronically, contrary to the original draft and the proposals canvassed by stakeholders during public hearing.
But Lawan said those accusing the parliament’s leadership of tampering with the bill were “simply mischievous and rabble-rousers”.
He stated this in a remark after the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Senator Kabiru Gaya submitted his panel report on the bill.
Lawan said, “There are various accusations, insinuations that the leadership of the Senate, sometimes leadership of the National Assembly had tempered with the report of the committees on INEC of both chambers.
“Some of those accusing the leadership of the National Assembly are misinformed innocently. Some are simply mischievous and rabble-rousers.
“This is the first time this report is laid here. And this is the report of the Committee. This is the decision of the Committee on INEC and therefore whatever will be discussed or considered about Electoral Act Amendment bill will be on the basis of the what has been presented to the Senate here.
“If anybody feels very strongly about anything, lobby the distinguished senators to canvas for your position rather than blackmail the leadership.
“My telephone line and and that of the speaker were published. In one day, I received over 900 messages saying we have manipulated the report. We didn’t.
“We will do what is right, we have our procedures and lobbying is part of democracy.”