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INEC to end election tribunals in Nigeria

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) will soon introduce some innovations for a free and fair election so as to end the use of election tribunals in the country.

The Resident Electoral Commissioner for Akwa Ibom, Mr. Mike Igini, who disclosed this in Calabar recently while presenting a keynote address on the theme: Engendering Issues Based Campaigns in an election year, the Media Perspectives said the commission is working towards a model whereby once a result is declared at the polling unit, it will be as it is declared.

While fielding questions from participants at the public lecture, he said, “in Nigeria, we spend so much to buy forms and a billion in tribunal to contest election result. Where do they get the money? The human agency is the problem we are having. When people cry out that the card ready is not good, it is not correct because people sabotage card reader in certain places. But in 2019 we are doing something different to ensure that truly the vote of the people will be a reflection of the vote cast.”

He said money politics in Nigeria is a bad politics and the commission is working to introduce measures to attract our eggheads into politics, as it is the case in some countries.

“Card reader has reduced moon slide and land slide results and for 2019; the card reader hardware will be enhanced. We are going to have software and process enhancement. If you look at the finger print window, it is going to be expanded to accommodate your finger or thumb. The sensitivity of the card reader will also be enhanced. In process enhancement, there are always issues of what happened after the polling unit when results have been declared at the polling unit and they are moving to the ward collation centre.

“All things being equal, by 2019, the moment the poll has closed, the ballot papers counted, declaration made and form C16E entered and the duplicate for each agent given, right from that point we are going to transmit the result of the polling unit directly to the collation centre. With the audit unit, you can compare what has been declared at the polluting unit, ward cantres, local councils, state and others and if it tallies with what you have at the collation centre. The crisis of confidence between poling units, wards and the last point of collation will be drastically reduced”.

Igini pleaded for the neutrality of security agents in 2019 as, adding, “the political class does everything to frustrate electoral process and the rule of law. In Nigeria, there are no consequences; we cannot have a society where there are no consequences and expect anything good to come out.

The problem of Nigeria is that the politicians are using Nigerians to undermine the business of the country.“We are partnering with NICOMSAT so that the election result will be a true reflection of what has happened at the polling unit. Some places like Cross River have very difficult terrain, the satellite will be used to transmit result or monitor as they do not have internet facilities,” he said.


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