The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said it has the capacity to transmit election results electronically from all the states in the country.
The restriction placed on the electronic transmission of results as contained in the Electoral Act Amendment Bill recently passed by the National Assembly has been generating controversy over the past days as many Nigerians and political groups have described the clause as ‘anti-democratic.’ However, the decision has been hailed by others including lawmakers of the All Progressives Congress fold, who voted in support of the clause.
The New Diplomat had reported that the Executive Commissioner of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Mr. Adeleke Adewolu who appeared before the House of Representatives had raised concerns over the transmission of results electronically, stating that no system can guarantee a 100 per cent shield from hacking.
Also, the NCC Commissioner of technical, Ubale Maska, told the lower house that about 49% of polling units in Nigeria are without a network by the NCC.
Maska further added that 40% are with 2G while about 10% are without network at all, noting that only 3G and above can transmit results.
Also, the senate in its version of the Electoral Act Amendment Bill passed the clause which seeks to empower the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and the National Assembly to determine the use of electronic transmission by INEC in an election.
Reacting to the arguments, INEC’s National Chairman and Commissioner for Information and Voter Education, Mr Festus Okoye who spoke on Channels Television, stated that the commission has the capacity to transmit results electronically in remote areas of the country.
While stating the position of INEC, Okoye state that the commission had successfully transmitted results from remote areas in the past elections. He, however, stated that the commission will perform its duties within the ambit of the law and constitution.
In his words, “We have uploaded results from very remote areas, even from areas where you have to use human carriers to access.
“So, we’ve made our own position very clear, that we have the capacity and we’ve the will to deepen the use of technology in the electoral process.
“But our powers are given by the constitution and the law, and we’ll continue to remain within the ambit and confines of the power granted to the commission by the constitution and the law.”