INEC explains why Nigeria is not ripe for electronic voting

INEC explains why Nigeria is not ripe for electronic voting

- The Independent National Electoral Commission says Nigeria is not yet ripe for electronic voting method

- The commission said some things have to be put in place before electronic voting is adopted in the country

- The electoral umpire says there should be stable power supply and the ability of electorate to conquer their fundamental trust issues in the system before electronic voting is adopted in the country

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said Nigeria is not yet ripe for electronic voting method.

According to an INEC national commissioner, Professor Okey Ibeanu, Nigeria is not ripe for electronic voting because of the absence of “robust technical and physical infrastructure", The Nations reports.

Legit.ng gathers that Ibeanu, who spoke in Abuja at the 'Stakeholders’ forum on future of elections in Nigeria, said there should be stable power supply and the ability of electorate to conquer their fundamental trust issues in the system before the country could adopt electronic voting.

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He said: “Each time we are demanding more ‘complexification’ of our election, we should remember that our infrastructure may not be adequate to take care of the process.”

The chairman of the commission, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, said the processes and procedures it adopted for the 2019 general elections are being reviewed.

According to him, at the end of the review exercise, INEC would work with the National Assembly to propose an alteration of the constitution and legal framework on critical issues that posed challenges to the 2019 general elections.

Yakubu, who was represented by another national commissioner, Festus Okoye, said: “The commission will also follow closely the pronouncement and judgments of the various courts and tribunals on novel constitutional and electoral issues, and incorporate them into its proposals for constitutional reforms.

“The commission will propose far-reaching changes in the following areas: (a) The review of the opaque nature of the conduct of party primaries and making proposals towards reforms as the crisis and challenges arising from the conduct of party primaries remains a sore point in the electoral process.

“(b) The timeline for the disposal of pre-election matters. The present timeline proposed for the disposal of pre-election matters has not solved the problem of certainty in the electoral process. The 180 days given to the courts of first instance to dispose pre-election suits and the 60 days earmarked for appeals dovetails into the conduct of elections and keeps the commission on edge till the Election Day. It makes it difficult for the commission to procure sensitive materials ahead of time. The commission will prefer a time-frame and a timeline that allows for the disposal of all pre-election matters before elections. This sill entails further alteration to section 285 of the Constitution.

“(c) The commission will also propose a review of the conditions for the registration of political parties to determine whether it is adequate to guarantee the registration of political parties that can in truth and in fact, bid for political power. It is also important to decide whether it is important to define a thresh hold which political parties can get on the ballot. More fundamentally, the constitution and legal conditions for the registration of political parties appears confusing and inadequate to weed out parties that enjoy only legal and not factual existence."

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Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that Akin Oyebode, a professor of international law and jurisprudence, on Tuesday, March 19, called for constitutional and electoral reforms to accommodate electronic voting and transmission of results.

Oyebode said that such reforms would strengthen electoral processes in the country.

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Source: Legit.ng

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