The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has revealed that it experimented the electronic collation and transmission of results to its central server in elections held before the 2019 general elections.
According to INEC, the technology was used in the Anambra, Sokoto and Osun States elections, but not in the 2019 presidential elections as being alleged by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its presidential candidate, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar.
The commission noted that it could not use the technology because of circumstances beyond its control.
Solomon Soyebi, INEC National Commissioner, made the revelation while speaking during the Post Election Retreat organised for staff of the electoral commission and other ad hoc staff who participated in the general elections held in Osun State.
The INEC National Commissioner alleged that a lot of factors (like; the late release of INEC’s budget, the Electoral Act controversies) made the commission to suspend the idea of transmitting the results electronically to a central server.
Read Soyebi’s statement below;
“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 issue with 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 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 circumstances beyond the control of the Commission,” Soyebi said.
PDP and Atiku had vehemently rejected the outcome of the 2019 presidential election which saw the emergence of President Muhammadu Buhari as winner.
According to Atiku, based on results he obtained from INEC central server, he won the presidential poll with over 1.6million votes. He provided details of the server where the results were stored, adding that he would employ the services of IBM, Microsoft and Oracle to prove his claim.
INEC however denied knowledge of any server, saying that it had no server where 2019 election results were transmitted electronically and stored.
Ibrahim Kenneth Suleiman is the Chief Political Editor at Naija Buzz News Network. He is a graduate of political science from the prestigious Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, Kaduna State. He specializes in preparing/approving of political news contents before publication. He currently heads Naija Buzz News team of political correspondents. From Nasarawa State, North-Central Nigeria, Ibrahim is a strong supporter of Manchester United Football Club England.