Charles Chukwuemeka Oputa, aka Charly Boy, has tweeted that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) would no longer transmit the result of the 2023 election electronically as required by the law, and urged the Nigerian youths to protest the INEC decision.
He tweeted on his iPhone at 5:22 p.m.: “Una go don hear say, INEC announce dis morning say there will be no more electronic transmission. They want to revert to their old way, a manual collection so they can rig as they want.
“Nigerian Youths, if una gree for dem way. Kiss ur future in dis country goodbye. U all must never agree to dis nonsense.”
The tweet has garnered 2000 likes and nearly a thousand retweets three hours later. Charley Boy has over 92,000 followers on Twitter.
But is the claim valid?
Charly Boy indeed referred to a recent interview granted by the INEC’s National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, where he said election results would be collated manually.
Okoye said the election would be collated manually in the interviews but explained the difference between collation and transmission of results.
He states, “There is a marked difference between the transfer/transmission of results and the collation. Section 50(2) of the Electoral Act, 2022 gives the commission the absolute discretion to determine the mode and procedure of voting in an election and the transmission of election results.
“Sections 60 and 62 of the Electoral Act govern post-election procedure and collation of election results. Section 60(1) of the Act provides that the presiding officer shall, after counting the votes at a polling unit, enter the votes scored by each candidate in a form to be prescribed by the commission.
“Section 60(5) of the Act makes it mandatory that the presiding officer shall transfer the results, including the total number of accredited voters and the results of the ballot, in a manner prescribed by the commission. After recording and announcing the results, the presiding officer shall then deliver the same along with election materials under security and accompanied by the candidates or their polling agents, where available to such person as may be prescribed by the commission.
“The implication of this is that the collation process of results is still essentially manual, but the collation officer must collate subject to his verification and confirmation that the number of accredited voters stated on the collated result is correct and consistent with the number of accredited voters recorded and transmitted directly from polling units.”
Notwithstanding, other political actors have begun to question INEC’s announcement. A former presidential aspirant of ADC, Kingsley Moghalu, posted a tweet at 5:33 p.m. expressing concern.
“@inecnigeria now says election results will be manually collated and transmitted? OK o! Is my not being on the ballot for 2023 a blessing in disguise after all? Like I said, I will remain engaged in nation-building from a nonpartisan standpoint,” he tweeted.
A Twitter user, Joseph Jonas, warned INEC of the imminent problems if it goes ahead with its ‘decision’.
“Make you warn dem oo, because they are looking for our Trouble,” he tweeted at 5:34 p.m.
INEC has, however, issued a press release clarifying the statement of its senior staff.
“For clarity, the procedure for result transmission remains the same as in recent Governorship elections in Ekiti and Osun States. There will be no change in all future elections, including the 2023 General Election.
“We wish to reassure Nigerians that the electronic transmission of results has come to stay. It adds to the credibility and transparency of the process when citizens follow polling unit-level results on the INEC Result Viewing (IReV) portal in real-time on Election Day. There will be no change or deviation in subsequent elections.”
INEC appealed to Nigerians to be familiar with the provisions of the Electoral Act and avoid reaching a conclusion based on media headlines.
Therefore, the claim by Charly Boy that “there will be no more electronic transmission” is FALSE.
Postscript: Despite showing that his tweet misinformed his followers, Charley Boy has not pulled down the tweet. In fact, he insisted that the INEC statement revealed that the electoral body was up to no good.
“I come in peace, but just to advice Innec people NEVER ever to think about dat Ojoro dem wan play. At least una don feel small backlash yesterday. Take it from me, any Bullshit will consume all of us,” he tweeted on August 22.