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INEC Insists On Readiness For E-transmission Of Poll Results

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Why Anambra Election Is Different - INEC

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has insisted on its readiness for the electronic transmission of election results.

INEC restated its readiness for an e-transmission of election results in its “Position Paper No.1/2021 Electronic Transmission of Election” released on Saturday, in Abuja.

The commission stated that the available national infrastructures, including mobile network coverage, were adequate to provide for electronic transmission of election results.

In the paper, INEC expressed its belief that electronic transmission of results would improve the quality of election results management, while its engagement with stakeholders had shown that the Nigerian public supported electronic transmission of election results.

“The technology and national infrastructure to support this are adequate.

“Consequently, if the choice was up to INEC, the commission prefers to transmit election results electronically once the necessary legal framework is provided,” it said.

The objectives of the position paper, according to INEC, was to explain the desirability of electronic transmission of results as an electoral reform issue in Nigeria today, adding that it was also to clarify the position of INEC on some of the central issues around e-transmission of results.

“To build a consensus on electronic transmission of results as an electoral reform issue based on a shared understanding of its desirability towards the 2023 general election,” is also another reason, INEC explained.
The commission disclosed that for over a decade it had piloted the electronic transmission of election results via Short Messaging System (SMS) for off-cycle and bye-elections in 2011.

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“The second system piloted for the 2011 General Election was called the e-Track. The idea was to use handheld scanners to scan all polling unit results and send them as PDF files to a backend for processing and publishing.

“Unfortunately, the commission’s staff deployed for that purpose did not scan many of the results, while some of the scanned results were not legible,” it said.

However, it noted that for the 2011 presidential results collation, INEC set up a system of transmitting state-level results electronically to the national collation centre in Abuja, ahead of the arrival of the physical result, through a secured e-mail address that only the chairman of the commission could access.

The paper stated that the innovation enabled the results to be ready for crosschecking against the physical result and to be displayed for public viewing during collation, which had brought a lot of transparency into the final collation of presidential election results.

It added that since 2011, it had remained the procedure for collating Presidential election results at the National Collation Centre in Abuja and had since evolved into what is today called “The Collation Support and Result Verification System (CSRVS),” even though the manually collated results were still being used to declare results.

“Finally, for several off-season and by-elections conducted since the 2019 general election, the commission had begun to electronically publish images of polling unit results through its INEC Result Viewing (IReV) Portal,” it added.

Specifically, this system had been deployed in several major off-season/end-of-tenure and by-elections, including the Edo and Ondo state governorship elections, six senatorial and three Federal Constituency by-elections, 15 State constituencies and one councillorship constituency in the FCT, INEC said.

“From the results obtained from these elections, the commission is convinced that electronic results management will add great value to the transparency and credibility of elections in Nigeria“, it added.

While IReV was not the electronic transmission of results, it noted, the portal had helped INEC to test three things that were central to electronic transmission of results, including the efficacy of electronic results management, should the legal encumbrance be lifted.

READ ALSO: INEC Wants Records Of Deceased Nigerians From NPC

The position paper added that INEC had used the IReV portal to test the security of its systems and the capacity of the national infrastructure to support the future electronic transmission of results.

“Since August 2020, the commission has conducted elections and transmitted the results from about 20 States and the FCT, covering 27 constituencies spread across 84 LGAs, 925 Wards and 14,296 Polling units involving 9,884,910.

“The conclusion that the commission draws from these diverse pilots conducted since 2011 is that the country is ready for electronic transmission of results.

“The national ICT infrastructure is also adequate for the purpose of the electronic transmission of results.

“This is underscored by all the discussions held with the Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) and the regulator, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), over the ten-year period of these pilots, but especially between 2018 and 2019.

“It is important to share the outcome of those discussions to underscore the commission’s conviction about the readiness of the country forward electronic transmission of election results”, the commission added.

 

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Ekiti SSG Oyebanji Resigns From Cabinet, To Contest For Governor

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Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, has accepted the resignation of Secretary to the State Government, Biodun Oyebanji, from his cabinet.

The resignation which was conveyed in a letter to the governor, dated December 3, 2021, takes effect from Tuesday, December 7th.

According to a statement by Yinka Oyebode, the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Oyebanji had cited his decision to contest the forth-coming governorship election in the state for his resignation as Secretary to the State Government.

Governor Fayemi in accepting Oyebanji’s resignation, thanked the former SSG for his remarkable contribution to the administration since inception in 2018 and wished him well in his future endeavours.

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Ekiti 2022: Fayemi Gives Dec 18 Deadline To Governorship Aspirants To Resign

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Ekiti 2022:Fayemi Gives Dec 18 Deadline To Governorship Aspirants To Resign

Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi has directed anyone serving in his government who would like to contest the governorship primaries to tender his or her resignation latest by December 18th.

The directive was contained in a statement by the Governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Yinka Oyebode, in Ado-Ekiti on Wednesday.

READ ALSO: Insurgency Has Declined Under Buhari – Fayemi

The development, according to the statement, became imperative in order to ensure cohesion and excellent service delivery – two major hallmarks of the administration- remain uncompromised.

In compliance with directives of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ekiti State has slated the governorship primaries for January, ahead of the June 2022 governorship election.

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Court Affirms Election Of Soludo As Anambra Governor

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Court Affirms Election Of Soludo As Anambra Governor

The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja on Wednesday declined to nullify the election of Prof. Chukwuma Soludo as the governor of Anambra State.

The court, in a judgement that was delivered by Justice Taiwo Taiwo, dismissed a suit that sought to invalidate Soludo’s election on the allegation that he supplied false information to the Independent National Electoral Commission ( INEC).

The Plaintiffs, Adindu Valentine and Egwudike Chukwuebuka, had in their suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/711/2021, alleged that Soludo lied in the affidavit (Form EC9), which he submitted to INEC.

They claimed that Soludo, in the said affidavit attached to his nomination form, stated that he was contesting the Aguata 2 Constituency seat, when, in fact, he was contesting the governorship seat.

More so, they told the court that an affidavit Soludo’s running mate and Deputy Governor-elect, Onyeka Ibezim, also submitted to INEC, contained false particulars considering that he stated that he was vying for Awka 2 Constituency seat.

Cited as defendants in the suit were the INEC, the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, Soludo and the Deputy Governor-elect, Ibezim.

The plaintiffs, through their lawyers, , A. O. Ijeri and Kelvin Okoko, argued that having indicated the wrong seat on the form, Soludo, violated extant legal provisions and ought to be disqualified.

“The constitution has made a state a constituency in relation to the governorship election, but in this case, the third defendant (Soludo) named Aguata 2 as the constituency he is contesting.

“The cause of action in a pre-election matter, by the provision of Section 285(9) of the Constitution, is determined by the date of the occurrence of the event, a decision or action complained about in the suit by the plaintiff.

“And in the instant suit, the cause of action of the plaintiffs arose on July 6, 2021, when the 3rd Defendant’s (Soludo’s) Form EC9 was submitted by the political party (the 2nd Defendant)”, they argued.

However, counsel for APGA and Soludo, Onyechi Ikpeazu, SAN, queried jurisdiction of the court to entertain the matter which he maintained was statue barred.

Aside from contending that the suit was filed outside the 14 days period stipulated by the Constitution, Ikpeazu, argued that error in an affidavit could not be a basis to disqualify a candidate from an election.

He argued that the false information claimed by the plaintiffs was not among the grounds stated in the 1999 Constitution for the disqualification of a candidate.

READ ALSO: Supreme Court Affirms Soludo As APGA Governorship Candidate For Anambra Poll

“False information, as envisaged in Section 31 of the Electoral Act is criminal in nature. Section 31 does not deal with error, but a deliberate effort to steal a match and to misrepresent”, he added.

On its part, INEC, through its lawyer, Bashir Abubakar, said it would leave the issue to the discretion of the court.

Meanwhile, in his judgement on Wednesday, though Justice Taiwo dismissed the preliminary objection challenging the competence of the suit and jurisdiction of the court to hear it, he however held that the plaintiffs, failed to establish that they had a reasonable cause of action.

Justice Taiwo held that the plaintiffs failed to convince the court on how the alleged false information both Soludo and Ibezim supplied to INEC, misled them.

The court held that since the allegation by the plaintiffs was also criminal in nature, it ought to be proved beyond reasonable doubt.

It held that the suit was filed in bad faith and a good example of cases that are not geared towards strengthening of the tenets of democracy in the country.

“I am yet to come to terms on the purpose for which this suit was filed. I am saying this because I am not convinced that this action is reasonable”, Justice Taiwo added.

Consequently, the court awarded N2million cost against the plaintiffs, in favour of the APGA, Soludo and Ibezim.

 

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