Two opposition senators have faulted the arguments of the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, on the provisions of the Electoral Act regarding the electronic transmission of results.
The senators who are members of the Peoples Democratic Party, Gershom Bassey (Cross River South) and Abba Moro (Benue South) insisted that both Chambers of the National Assembly duly passed the provisions in the Electoral Act which mandates the Independent National Electoral Commission to transmit election results electronically from the polling units to its central server.
The Senate President had during plenary on Tuesday said there was no provision for the electronic transmission of results in the Electoral Act 2022.
Lawan had noted that the National Assembly only made provision for the transfer of results from the polling units to the server of the INEC.
He said: “In the Electoral Act that we passed, there is nothing like the election transmission. What we passed is to transfer after all the paper works that we normally do while the agents and everybody there have the papers.
“INEC will scan or snap the result sheets and transfer them. We urge INEC to follow the Electoral Act and other laws on their guidelines.”
However, speaking with journalists on Wednesday, Senator Moro lamented that the INEC went ahead to announce the nationwide cry against the non-conformity of the INEC to the Electoral Act as regarding the electronic transmission of results.
Moro said: “By the passage of the electoral act, it is expected that BVAS was supposed to be used.
“It is supposed to provide information about the numbers of people that were accredited, and the eventual voters. What it means is that BVAS should be able to transmit electronically from the polling unit to the server in the INEC office.”
The Benue senator added: “That is our understanding of the whole process. If we understand them to be so, what it means is that it is expected that the same instrument should be able to transmit the results to the central system.
“When it gets to the wards, it is supposed to transmit to the local government and later to the state. It is expected that when these sequences are followed, will guarantee transparency in the system.
“The announcement of the election results would definitely affect the credibility of future elections in Nigeria.”
Moro further decried that Nigeria’s image, integrity and sovereignty were at stake.
He added: “What’s the big deal in suspending the process of announcement until after every aspect of concern is rectified?
“If the announcement is suspended, it would have saved the country from possible trauma.”
Senator Bassey also corroborated the submission of Moro while answering questions from journalists.
He said: “Results were not uploaded to the server and we began to realise that it was a widespread issue throughout the country.
“The key element of the process is that when the results are collated at the unit level, they should be uploaded to the server which must be accessible to everyone.
“That’s the whole essence of the new amendment to the law; voter verification and verification of results. The verification from the server is the key plank of the process.”
He added: “It is the leg upon which the transparency of the INEC stands. We are saying that the process has been compromised because many polling units have not been uploaded and it’s a major flaw of the election.
“It is clearly stated in the Electoral Act that when you vote in your unit, the results would be uploaded to a website where people can see the results in real-time.”