The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said that it was bent on electronic transmission of election results from the polling units unless the national assembly enacted a new law to stop it from doing so.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) for Ogun State, Mr. Olusegun Agbaje, stated this at a press conference in Abeokuta yesterday,
Already, he said INEC had enough laws authorising it to transmit election results electronically, adding that enacting a new law to incapacitate the commission would be bad for the country.
“The commission is in no way shy in transmitting election results electronically. In fact, we have the capacity to do that. We are only waiting for the national assembly not to disturb us. Even as we are now today, I believe that the commission has enough reason and legislation to back us to do this.
“People have been saying there is no law backing this, but we have law. Unfortunately, that law signed by former President Goodluck Jonathan was not brought out before the 2015 general election, but it was signed before the election.”
“We have enough law that capacitated us to go ahead but if the national assembly says we cannot do it with the new committee that had been set up, we will stop and that will be a new law. If they are going to make a new law that will incapacitate us, that will be too bad.
“With the shout of Nigerians, non-governmental bodies, the media and many other stakeholders, I believe the national assembly will do the right thing so that INEC can go ahead,” he said.
The advised the lawmakers to liaise with the National Communications Commission (NCC) if it (national assembly) “sees that there is any way that NCC can help” adding that “they (lawmakers) have enough time to do that.”
“They have more than one and a half years to do the necessary things before the general election.
“We have an understanding that if results cannot be transmitted at a particular polling unit or location, due to network problems, they can move from the unit level to ward level where there is network and do it.
“Even before the transmission, all the party agents would have the manual copies of the results.
“To the INEC, we are very much ready and we have the capacity to do it to the admiration of all Nigerians,” he said.
He also disclosed that the election results of governorship election taking place in Ekiti and Osun states in 2022 would be transmitted electronically “if the National Assembly do not stop us.
“It is not only in the southern part of the country that we have been using it. In the house of representatives and senate elections that we conducted, we have used it and we shall continue to improve on what we have been doing.
“But if the national assembly says we cannot do it, well but for this coming election in Anambra later this year, Ekiti and Osun election next year, we are going to do it,” he added.