We only experimented server for staggered polls in 2018, not for 2019 elections ― INEC

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Monday clarified that the commission only experimented its server for some staggering polls in 2018 and not for 2019 general elections.

The electoral body also declared that the results of 2019 presidential election elections were not transmitted electronically to its server as being speculated in some quarters.

The National Commissioner of INEC, Mr. Solomon Soyebi who made these clarifications in Osogbo during post-election retreat organised by the commission for INEC staff and ad-hoc staff engaged during the last general elections contended that the clarification became expedient in view of controversies on the transmission of 2019 presidential election results from states to the INEC server.

He further argued that INEC experimented the use of electronic transmission of results with Anambra, Sokoto and Osun elections held before 2019 elections, saying the umpire did not use of the technology during the 2019 general elections.

Soyebi attributed the late release of INEC’S budget for the 2019 elections and controversies over the Electoral Act, among others factors to the resolve of the commission to drop the idea of using the technology to transmit results to the central server.

According to him, “we piloted the use of transmission of election results electronically in Sokoto, in Anambra, even in Osun. What happened was that we were trying to pilot to see the desirability of such technology in our electoral process.

“First, our budget came out very late, there was also an issue of the Electoral Act. For these and some other reasons, the commission did not adopt that option. 2019 elections were conducted according to Law.

“We used the Constitution of the Federal Republic, we used the Electoral Act and our guidelines for 2019 elections. If you look at the three instruments carefully, the issue of the server was not highlighted.

“Once in a while, you will see an experiment going on but we have to pilot it before we will deploy wholesale for election. We did not use it because of the circumstances beyond the control of the Commission,” Soyebi asserted.

In his remark, the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) of INEC in Osun, Mr. Olusegun Agbaje tasked the political class and other relevant stakeholders to discourage the use of thugs to disrupt elections in Nigeria.

He said the disruption of election by political thugs and other electoral vices had compelled INEC to declare such election exercise as inconclusive.
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Agbaje emphasised that the disruption of election by hoodlums must be strongly condemned and resisted by the political class if we must make good progress in our efforts to have a credible poll in the country, adding that the commission does not deliberately declare an election inconclusive as being wrongly perceived by some members of the public.

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