The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has stated that it is capable of transmitting election results electronically without the approval of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).
During the clause-by-clause deliberation of section 52 (3) of the electoral act amendment bill, with respect to the electronic transmission of results, the senate had directed the commission to get the approval of the NCC before going on to transmit results electronically.
It had stated that the NCC must certify that the national coverage is adequate and secure, while the national assembly must give its approval before the electoral body can transmit election results electronically.
The national commissioner and chairman, electoral operations and logistics committee (EOLC), Okechukwu Ibeanu, while speaking on Tuesday at the commission’s third quarterly meeting with media executives noted that the national assembly’s decision to subject its constitutional power to conduct elections to the NCC was absolutely unconstitutional.
He noted that rather than seeking the NCC’s approval, the INEC has the constitutional mandate to impose duties on NCC in order to achieve the electronic transmission of results.
“That is absolutely unconstitutional. You cannot ask INEC to seek the approval of another agency of government to transmit results electronically when actually INEC has the power to impose duties on NCC to achieve electronic transmission of results,” he said.
“I completely agree that in the context of underscoring the independence of the commission, section 160 of the constitution has done everything it needs to do. What is left is for INEC to use the power it has under the constitution to achieve its aim.”