Dr Sam Amadi, a Lawyer, has said that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) broke its laws while collating the results of the February 25 presidential elections which has now produced Bola Ahmed Tinubu as President-elect.
He stated this during an interview with Arise Television on Wednesday, March 1st, as monitored by Nairametrics.
What he said: According to Dr Amadi, the Electoral Act empowers INEC to decide what mode to use when collating results – manual or electronically. But once the choice is made, INEC cannot return on that decision. In this case, INEC had passed a law/guideline to collate results electronically, so it broke its law by doing otherwise. He said:
- “INEC had the option to go into rule-making mode and say we will use manual plus technology, these are the steps we will take. INEC had the power to do so. But the moment INEC had gone through that process and released a directive on a guideline, that became subsidiary law. Therefore, both INEC and every other person handling operations in the election must comply with that.
- “So, by Clause 38 of the regulations and guidelines for 2023 elections, building on its power in Section 60 now legislates to say every polling officer shall transmit these elections to the INEC server after polling all results. At that point, legally speaking, INEC cannot do otherwise.
- “It was INEC who led the enactment of these powers in that language and President Buhari signed. APC legislators continuously opposed and lobbied against it, even after it was signed, yet INEC restated it as late as December 2022.
- “Having made a law on how elections will be transmitted, INEC can only go back on those terms, if the decision is taken prior to the election. INEC’s guidelines are law and a regulator who makes a law cannot act contrary to the law, except when the law provides that it can do so.”
Dr Amadi explained further that when the voting has happened at the polling units and counting has been completed, the results are collected manually and entered in the prescribed form by INEC and the results are signed. He said:
- “Immediately after results are signed, the polling officer transmits the result either via picture or scan and uploads it from the polling unit to the permanent server. There are various collaboration centres from the ward level to the local government level to the state.
- “Now, the reason why transmission from polling units was legislated for is because of the country’s history of manipulation. Once sent to the server, the real results are irretrievable. The 2022 Electoral Act envisaged manipulation of results and it states that where there is a conflict, the electronic evidence is superior to the manual evidence.”
What you should know: Dr Amadi also said that if one studies the constitution closely, it will be noted that the declared winner of the 2023 presidential election, Bola Ahmed Tinubu has not met the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) requirements for winning the election as he only won 18% of the FCT.
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