A civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), on Monday, expressed sadness that the National Assembly had failed to speedily amend the Electoral Act to make it mandatory for electronic transmission of results from polling units to become legalised.
In a statement by the National Coordinator of HURIWA, Emmanuel Onwubiko, the group emphasized that the gubernatorial polls in Imo, Bayelsa and Kogi States would be procured by the highest bidders since the electronic transmission of results in real-time had been sabotaged by both the presidential election petition tribunal and the Supreme Court of Nigeria.
Also, HURIWA said it is hard for the governorship poll in Imo State to be transparent when the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had refused to redeploy the Resident Electoral Commissioner in the state who is allegedly linked biologically to the Deputy National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress.
HURIWA said the electoral body had done nothing substantial to instil trust and gain the confidence of voters in those three states on its resolve to be fair, accountable and transparent.
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HURIWA’s Onwubiko said; “We have watched with unfathomable amazement, the attempt, by the INEC to once more hoodwink Nigerian voters in Kogi, Imo and Bayelsa States into believing their propaganda that all the glitches experienced during the general elections of February 2023 had been taken care of.”
The group, however, dismissed INEC’s re-assurance, saying: “INEC had told Nigerians that it was committed to the deployment of the bimodal voter registration system (BVAS) and IReV for the 2023 election and to transmit the results of all elections electronically but failed to fulfil this promises.”
It said when it got to the Election Petition Tribunal, INEC argued that it wasn’t legally obliged to so do and the court conceded to the claim, saying it stands in contrast to the verbal commitment made by INEC before the conduct of the last general election.