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INEC contradicts APC, says has capacity to transmit results electronically

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THE Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has countered the  All Progressives Congress (APC) members of the National Assembly on electronic transmission of election results in 2023, saying that it has the capacity to deliver.

INEC, in a statement by its National Commissioner and Chairman on Information and Voter Education Committee Festus Okoye, said INEC’s joint committee made up of telecommunications stakeholders had revised the system and concluded that electronic transmission of results was practicable.

The APC members of the House of Representatives had maintained that electronic transmission of results would only be allowed ‘where practicable.’

The APC Senate members had earlier placed electronic transmission of results at the behest of the National Assembly or the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

The People’s Democratic Party(PDP) members had voted in favour of e-transmission of election results without interference by any institution.

Okoye, while reacting to the poaition of the APC National Assembly, said the commission had uploaded results even from the remote areas where it had to use human carriers to access.

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“So, we have made our own position very clear, that we have the capacity and we have the will to deepen the use of technology in the electoral process.”

Okoye noted that INEC would be guided by the power granted it by the constitution and the law.

“Our powers are given by the constitution and the law, and we will continue to remain within the ambit and confines of the power granted to the commission by the constitution and the law,” he reiterated.

He also stressed that the commission had the assurance of the network service providers regarding the possibility of deploying technology to cover a few blind spots.

“The commission will continue to pilot different solutions bearing in mind that technology is dynamic and can limit human interference in the electoral process. The commission wants broad powers to deploy technology and is not in favour of a particular solution being written into the law.

“The commission is a creation of the constitution and the law and its powers are derived from the constitution. The constitution has also given the National Assembly the power to make laws but such powers must not be in conflict with and or at variance with the provisions of the constitution.”

Okoye, however, submitted that political parties would henceforth be mandated to submit the names and photographs of their polling agents electronically, just as domestic election observers and the media who applied for accreditation to observe and cover elections had been doing.

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'Niyi works with The ICIR as an investigative reporter and fact-checker. You can shoot him an email via noyedeji@icirnigeria.org. You can as well follow him on Twitter via @niyi_oyedeji.

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