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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has revealed that it would employ both the manual and electronic methods of transmission in transmitting the 2023 election results even as it disclosed that the commission is considering moving sensitive materials from the Central Bank of Nigeria to another location following the involvement of the bank chief in politics.
The chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, made these assertions during a consultative meeting with the media in Abuja on Thursday which was monitored by Africa Daily News, New York.
While responding to a question on the political ambition and partisanship of the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, Yakubu said the commission might be forced to find another arrangement for the handling of sensitive materials.
The INEC chairman said the CBN is responsible for the storage and movement of sensitive materials, adding that the commission has never doubt the capacity of the CBN to discharge that responsibility.
He said, ‘But I understand the context in which the question is asked. But you should also understand the context in which events are unfolding. As we speak, our director, litigation and prosecution is in court.
‘There is a case in court. We have been invited to state our own side of the story. We usually refrain from talking about such issues because there is essentially subjudice.
‘But we are already started talking about what alternatives are available to us in case we need to change the arrangement for the handling of sensitive materials. We have started thinking about it. We are aware of the situation. We will watch the situation. We still have 9 months before the next general elections.
‘Things may be addressed before then. I want to assure you that we will not jeopardize the conduct of the election by creating a misconception around the situation in the process.’
According to him, INEC would partner with the Economic Financial Crime Commission to check the spending of political parties during the 2023 election.
Yakubu added that the provision of the Electoral Act 2022 in the management of results was still basically manual involving the recording of results on forms and their delivery to various levels of collation until declaration and returns are made.
While however declaring that the law still provides for e-transmission of results, Yakubu quoted Section 64 of the Electoral Act, saying electronic transmission of results would only be done in the event of a dispute during the course of collation.
He pointed out that there was need to clear the misconception around e-transmission of results, saying many Nigerians equate it with electronic voting where voting can take place from any location.