We do not need the approval of the Nigerian Communications Commission, (NCC) to transmit election results electronically.
This was the position of the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC) at the Commission’s third quarterly meeting with media executives in Abuja on Tuesday.
INEC maintained that the decision by the National Assembly to subject its constitutional power to conduct elections to the NCC was unconstitutional.
It will be recalled that during the debate on Section 52(3) of the Electoral Amendment Act Bill (which deals with electronic transmission), at the National Assembly, the lawmakers had asked the electoral umpire to seek the approval of the NCC before going on with e-transmission of results.
Prof. Okechukwu Ibeanu, the National Commissioner and Chairman of, Electoral Operations & Logistics Committee, while speaking at the meeting said, rather than seeking NCC’s approval, the electoral body has the constitutional mandate to impose duties on NCC to achieve the electronic transmission of results.
While quoting relevant sections of the 1999 Constitution Ibeanu said, “That is unconstitutional. You cannot ask INEC to seek the approval of another agency of government to transmit results electronically when INEC has the power to impose duties on NCC to achieve electronic transmission of results.
“I completely agree that in the context of underscoring the independence of the Commission, Section 160 of the Constitution has done everything it needs to do. What is left is for INEC to use the power it has under the constitution to achieve its aim.”