The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Sunday, said it has not jettisoned the electronic transmission of result and reverted to the manual process for the 2023 general election.
INEC said this in reaction to media reports that the commission has indicated that collation of results for 2023 general elections will be done manually, despite the adoption of electronic transmission of results.
According to the reports, Festus Okoye, INEC’s national commissioner and chairman, information and voter education committee had said the commission would transmit results from polling units to its result-viewing portal (IReV), as witnessed in recent off-season elections, but the Electoral Act was clear on how collation should be done.
“There is a marked difference between the transfer/transmission of results and the collation of results. Section 50(2) of the Electoral Act, 2022 gives the commission the absolute discretion to determine the mode and procedure of voting in an election and the transmission of election results.”
“Sections 60 and 62 of the Electoral Act govern post-election procedure and collation of election results. Section 60(1) of the Act provides that the presiding officer shall, after counting the votes at a polling unit, enter the votes scored by each candidate in a form to be prescribed by the commission.
“Section 60(5) of the Act makes it mandatory that the presiding officer shall transfer the results, including total number of accredited voters and the results of the ballot in a manner prescribed by the commission. Thereafter, the presiding officer shall after recording and announcing the results deliver the same along with election materials under security and accompanied by the candidates or their polling agents, where available to such person as may be prescribed by the commission.
“The implication of this is that the collation process of results is still essentially manual, but the collation officer must collate subject to his verification and confirmation that the number of accredited voters stated on the collated result are correct and consistent with the number of accredited voters recorded and transmitted directly from polling units,” Okoye had said.
But, in a statement he personally signed, Okoye clarified that, the procedure for result transmission remains the same as in the recent governorship elections in Ekiti and Osun States, saying there will be no change in all future elections, including the 2023 general election.
“The Independent National Electoral Commission’s (INEC) attention has been drawn to a misunderstanding arising from a recent short interview granted to a national newspaper on the procedure for result management during elections.
“Some have interpreted the explanation on result management procedure to mean that the Commission has jettisoned the electronic transmission of result and reverted to the manual process. This is not correct.
“We wish to reassure Nigerians that the electronic transmission of result has come to stay. It adds to the credibility and transparency of the process when citizens follow polling unit level results on the INEC Result Viewing (IReV) portal on real-time on Election Day. There will be no change or deviation in subsequent elections.
“The entire gamut of result management is provided for in Sections 60, 62 and 64 of the Electoral Act 2022. In line with the provision of the law, the Commission, in April this year, released a detailed clarification of the procedure for transmission, collation and declaration of result which was shared with all stakeholders and uploaded to our website.
“We appeal to all Nigerians to avail themselves of the provisions of the Electoral Act and the Commission’s detailed explanation of the procedure and not reach a conclusion on the basis of media headlines,” the statement read.