The Independent National Electoral Commission’s (INEC), has stated that it has no intention to abandon electronic transmission of results in future elections in Nigeria.
The commission stated that the procedure for election result management in Nigeria remains the same as done in recent Governorship elections in Ekiti and Osun States.
The INEC National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Barrister Festus Okoye made the clarification in a statement issued on Sunday August 21.
It was in reaction to a media publication that quoted Okoye as saying that next year’s general elections would be collated manually, despite the legislation on electronic transmission of results.
The national commissioner in the statement maintained that INEC has no intention to revert to manual process, adding that his response during the media interview was misinterpreted.
Part of the statement reads, “The Independent National Electoral Commission’s (INEC) attention has been drawn to a misunderstanding arising from a recent short interview granted to a national newspaper on the procedure for result management during elections. Some have interpreted the explanation on result management procedure to mean that the Commission has jettisoned the electronic transmission of result and reverted to the manual process. This is not correct.
“For clarity, the procedure for result transmission remains the same as in recent Governorship elections in Ekiti and Osun States. There will be no change in all future elections, including the 2023 General Election.”
Okoye said Nigerians should be rest assured that “the electronic transmission of result has come to stay.”
He noted that it adds to the credibility and transparency of the electoral process when citizens follow polling unit level portal on real-time on Election Day. “There will be no change or deviation in subsequent elections,” he said.
Okoye further pointed out that the entire process of election result management is provided for in sections 60, 62 and 64 of the Electoral Act 2022.
He added that the electoral body had in April this year, in line with the provision of the law, published a detailed clarification of the procedure for transmission, collation and declaration
of result which was distributed to all stakeholders for massive sensitisation.
“We appeal to all Nigerians to avail themselves of the provisions of the Electoral Act and the commission’s detailed explanation of the procedure and not reach a conclusion on the basis of media headlines,” Okoye added.
Meanwhile, the INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, had recently in a media interview assured that the results of the 2023 general elections and future ones would be transmitted electronically.
“Yes, it is going to be permanent in all elections conducted by the commission going forward,” Yakubu had said.
Part of the amendments to the Electoral Act that was passed by the National Assembly and signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari on February 25, was to enhance the deployment of technology in the electoral process.