Professor Attahiru Jega, former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission has stated that the plan by the National Assembly to exclude electronic transmission of votes in the new Electoral Reform Bill is counterproductive. Jega insists that electronic transmission reduces cases of electoral fraud and makes the process more efficient.
Jega disclosed this in an interview with Channels TV on Sunday evening, saying the new electoral bill is long overdue as efforts are being made to review the electoral act 2010 as amended.
“We all know, in most electoral jurisdictions, efforts are being made to introduce technology to improve elections.
“When one looks at the electoral bill draft, which NASS hopes to pass, with regards to utilization of tech, they said INEC to use electronic voting, provided INEC does not use electronic transmission of results, you can’t permit INEC to use electronic voting and not use electronic transmission of results.
“Because usually, they go as a package. Besides that, most countries merely use it as best practice, because electronic transmission needs robust technology to bring efficiency and transparency, and real-time ability to see results as transmitted from the polling units,” Jega said.
Jega warned that denying INEC the opportunity of implementing the electronic transmission of results would be very counterproductive and undermine the integrity of next elections
“Electronic transmission of results would ensure that the traditional fraudulent activities of changing results from polling units to collation centre would now be a thing of the past,” he added.
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INEC had earlier stated that the introduction of technology enhances the credibility of elections in Nigeria and that it is working with the National Assembly to introduce reforms to Nigeria’s Electoral Act.
Senate President, Ahmad Lawan also stated that the National Assembly will work hard to ensure the passing of the Electoral Act before the end of 2021.