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Direct e-transmission of election results is mandatory – Part 3

By Sylvester Udemezue
08 March 2023   |   1:52 am
Then, explaining the Import of the Legal provisions clearly, INEC says that “the law provides for a dual mode. The first mode is the 4-step manual procedure at PUs involving: (1) Counting of ballot papers; (2) Recording of results on specific for...

An Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) official uses a Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) to check the details of a voter at a polling station in Maiduguri on February 25, 2023, during Nigeria’s presidential and general election. (Photo by Audu MARTE / AFP)

Then, explaining the Import of the Legal provisions clearly, INEC says that “the law provides for a dual mode. The first mode is the 4-step manual procedure at PUs involving: (1) Counting of ballot papers; (2) Recording of results on specific form (EC8A); (3). Endorsement of EC8A by candidates/polling agents; and (4) physical delivery to collation centres. The second mode entails a 2-step electronic procedure from PUs involving: (1) Recording of accreditation data; and (2) Direct transmission of results”.

Finally, towards explaining the procedure for implementation to ensure compliance with the law, INEC wrote:”
“After an election and the completion of results management procedure at the PU, the The Presiding Officer should take the following action (1).Transmit a clear image of EC8A for purposes of collation. This goes to the IReV; and (2). Deliver by hand, the hard copy of EC8A and the BVAS to the Registration Area (RA) Collation Officer. 2.The Collation Officer, with the support of the RATECH, should have access to IReV.

The result held temporarily as part of IReV and the number of accredited voters in the BVAs should be compared with what is recorded in the manually-delivered result to effect collation (Sec. 64[4] and [5] of the Electoral Act 2022). The IReV result or the scanned image of the EC8A from the BVAS should also be used in case any issue arises during collation and there is need to resolve any dispute regarding the results (Sec. 64[6]), following the procedure provided in the clause 93(a) of the Commission’s Regulations and Guidelines for elections, 2022. 3.

The same scenario should be implemented from one level of collation to a higher one until the result is declared and a return is made 4. This approach integrates the IReV images into the collation process to satisfy the electronic (direct) transmission of results”.

Truth is, many citizens of Nigeria, home and abroad, who had never been interested in the Nigerian electoral process owing to its general lack of credibility, had shown tremendous interest in this 2023 election, and actually returned to Nigeria and went out to vote because of (1) the legal PROVISIONS for mandatory electronic transmission of results direct from the polling units; (2). The various open assurances by the INEC that the law in this respect, would be complied with, and (3). The huge sum of money released to the INEC to ensure that the law was complied with and to ensure that the 2023 presidential elections were a true reflection of what actually transpired at the various polling units across the country.

In this instance, as reports show, abs as admitted by the INEC, INEC FAILED or REFUSED TO comply with the law by withholding in most States the passwords that would enable presiding officers across Nigeria to electronically transmit the results DIRECT from the polling units as MANDATED by both the Electoral Act and the Guidelines made by INEC itself. The INEC itself has confessed that it failed to transmit the results electronically DIRECT from the polling units, contrary to the law. See: “GeneralElections: INEC admits poor access to IReV, regrets delay” [26 February 2023: TheEagleOnline].  See also: INEC OFFICIALS HAVE SUCCESSFULLY UPLOADED 37,776 OUT OF 176, 846 EXPECTED RESULTS. Source:

Reports had it that by the end of 25 February 2023, the INEC official from the polling Units across the country had only successfully transmitted and uploaded 37,776, out of 176, 846 results from the 176,846 polling units in Nigeria. []. INEC later confirmed its own failure. See also: #NigeriaElections2023: INEC Speaks On Why Result Viewing Portal (IReV) Is Not Working, Blames Technical Hitches For Challenges” and assuring “These results cannot be tampered with and any discrepancy between them and the physical results used in collation will be thoroughly investigated and remediated, in line with Section 65 of the Electoral Act 2022”_ [ThenigeriaLawyer; 26 September 2023]

Are we cursed as a nation? When shall we wake up to do things right like normal human being operating in the 21st-cevtury? Shall we just continue in sin and iniquity that grace may abound? In the case of in Amaechi V. INEC & 2 ors (2008) 1 SCNJ 1; (2008) 5 NWLR (Pt. 1080) 227), Hon Justice PIUS OLAYIWOLA ADEREMI, JSC said: “I wish to say that in all countries of the world which operate under the rule of law, politics are always adapted to the laws of the land and not the laws to politics. Let our political operators allow this time-honoured principle to sink well into their heads and hearts.” His Lordship, Ibrahim Mohammed Musa Saulawa, JCA, reexhoed this in Whyte V Kwande (Appeal NO.CA/PH/161/99), in a judgment delivered on January 4, 2007, the Court of Appeal, Port-Harcourt division) when he declared, I should have thought that fairness, even handedness and above all respect for rule of law would characterize the behaviour and standards of such men who found themselves in public offices”.

Post Scriptum:Under the Electoral Act 2022, non compliance with mandatory provisions of the law is a ground for review (which may include, but not limited to, outright cancellation) of any results even after declaration/return has been made. The proviso to section 65(1)(c) of the Electoral Act, 2022 gives the INEC the power within seven days of the declaration of any election results and the return of any candidate, to review the declaration or return where INEC determines that the declaration or return was not made voluntarily or was made contrary to the provisions of the law, regulations and guidelines, and manual for the election.  
Udemezue (Udems),wrote via