The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has disclosed that electronic transmission of results will improve the quality of the electoral process with the right legal framework in place.
This was contained in a 25-page position paper released on Saturday by the INEC chairman, Mahmood Yakubu.
The commission, in the paper, noted that it has consistently sought to apply technology such as INEC results viewing (IReV) portal, and separate portals for nomination of candidates, to improve the credibility of the electoral process in Nigeria.
According to the commission, the controversy around the readiness of INEC and the capacity of national infrastructure for transmitting election results electronically appears to question the desirability of e-transmission of election results.
The commission said since its readiness has become a major issue in these debates, it has decided to make public its position on the matter.
“The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) believes that it has developed adequate structures and processes to successfully transmit election results electronically,” the paper reads.
“Electronic transmission of results will improve the quality of election result management and that our engagement with stakeholders shows that the Nigerian public supports it.
“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.”
The commission also gave several reasons the electronic transmission of results is beneficial for Nigeria.
It said the electronic transmission of results will increase trust in the electoral process, improve health safety by reducing person-to-person contact, reduce negative human intervention in the outcome of results, and help with record keeping.
“Electronic transmission of results will make results management more efficient, and increase public confidence in the electoral process,” it added.
“Electronic transmission of election results will also make for quicker and more transparent election adjudication.”
The commission also said it does not require the approval of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to transmit election results electronically.
“Any process that facilitates the denudation of the constitutional responsibilities of INEC to conduct elections or subjects those constitutional responsibilities to the approval of an agency of government will only undermine the electoral process,” it said.
“While INEC needs the partnership of NCC to transmit election results electronically, it does not require its approval. In fact, section 160 of the constitution empowers INEC to impose duties on other federal government agencies in the discharge of its functions.”
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