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We’ll make it mandatory for INEC to upload results — Senate

The Senate Committee on Electoral Matters has said it will make it mandatory for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to upload election results online.…

The Senate Committee on Electoral Matters has said it will make it mandatory for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to upload election results online.

The committee chairman, Senator Sharafadeen Alli, told Channels TV on Tuesday that the current law does not make it mandatory for INEC to upload results, but that the committee is working on amending the law.

He said, “That is one of the things that we are going to do. Under the current law, it is not mandatory for INEC to upload results, that is what the court has said. But as we are going forward, it is going to be mandatory.”

In addition to other electoral reforms being considered, Alli said the committee proposed resolving all pre-election matters before the election and upgrading election technology.

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“We looked at elections and election petitions. In terms of legislation about election petitions, what we think is all pre-election matters should be resolved before the election.

“We are also looking at a situation where election petitions are concluded before swearing in.

“We are thinking of approving the time within which to file and conclude election petitions so that somebody will not be sworn in; that is what led us into having these off-cycle elections. There would have been no need for it if we were able to conclude election petitions before the swearing in.

“We are looking at the development of technology, improvement on technology, because a lot of Nigerians were disappointed when the use of the IReV didn’t work, but going forward we will try to ensure INEC does something about that,” he said.

In a related development, a senior Advocate of Nigeria, Femi Falana and the Executive Director of Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre (PLAC), Clement Nwankwo, have said the many gaps noticed in the Electoral Act during the conduct of the 2023 general election as well as the recently held off-cycle election, must be addressed in order to strengthen the process.

The duo spoke in Lagos during a retreat for members of the National Assembly Joint Committees On Electoral Matters.

Falana, who said the 2023 general election and the off-cycle election exposed the flaws in the act, called on members of the National Assembly to consider the adoption of the recommendations of the Justice Uwais’s Electoral Reform Report.

Nwankwo noted that the primary focus of the joint discourse was to identify gaps within the current electoral legal framework and ecosystem, as well as come to an accord on further reforms to the Act which will enable the bridging of the gaps; defining the requisite strategies and timelines to achieve the targeted improvements.

“Looking at what happened in the 2023 and the recent off-cycle elections, it is important for the National Assembly to save our democracy because we are at a stage where citizen confidence in elections is at its worst. Once citizen confidence is this low, democracy is threatened. I will urge the National Assembly to take it serious because citizen needs renewal of hope,” he said

 

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