INEC pushes NASS to a tight corner over electronics transmission of election results, says its ready
The independent National Electoral Commission may have pushed the national Assembly to a tight corner over its recent declaration that it can deliver free, fair and credible elections using electronics transmission of results.
The position of the Electoral umpire is coming against the backdrop that the National Assembly had ceded some aspect of its job to the National Communication Commission (NCC) and itself when it said,
“The commission may consider electronics collation of results provided the National Network Coverage is adjudged to be adequate and secured by the National Communication Commission and approved by the national Assembly.”
This means ceding some of the job of INEC to NCC and National Assembly itself
To thus end the Commission on Saturday in a 25-page Position Paper reiterated it’s capacity, readiness and ability to deliver elections with integrity using appropriate and available technology, including for the electronic transmission of election results.
Now that the National Assembly has set up its conference committee for the final stage public attention has shifted to its two Chambers as it review the controversial Electoral Act Amendment Bill 2021.
The electoral umpire enumerated its successful pilot programmes and engagements from 2018 with the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) through a committee, which reached the conclusion that it is possible for INEC to transmit poll results electronically.
The INEC position paper dispelled misconceptions on the issue and made it abundantly clear that all the Commission requires is the enabling and legal framework to deploy available technology for the electronic transmission of election results.
The Commission also described as breach of constitution, any suggestion that it should obtain attestation from the NCC or approval of the National Assembly before the exercise of its statutory mandate, including the electronic transmission of poll results.
By this clarification, the ball is now squarely in the court of the National Assembly to meet the yearnings of the majority of Nigerians for the delivery of free, fair, transparent and credible elections in the country, using appropriate, available and tested technological tools!