Collation and Transmission of Election Results By INEC – Assessing the Key Provisions of the Law.
By Sanni Adavize
The laws Regulating the conduct of elections in Nigeria and announcement of results are the 1999 Constitution of the FRN and the Electoral Act 2022 as amended.
Section 50(1) of the Electoral Act provides that voting shall be by open secret balloting . Section 50(2) of the Electoral Act further provides that subject to section 63 of the Act, Voting and TRANSMISSION OF RESULTS shall be in according WITH THE PROCEDURE AS DETERMINED BY THE COMMISSION.That is, (INEC).
On post Election procedure and collation of results, Section 62(1) of the Act mandates the presiding officer after the recording and announcement of results to deliver same along with election materials accompanied by security agencies or polling units agents , where available to such person AS MAY BE PRESCRIBED BY THE COMMISSION (INEC).
Section 62(2) however mandates INEC to compile, update and maintain always a register of election result to be known as NATIONAL ELECTRONIC REGISTER OF ELECTION RESULTS which shall be a distinct database of results of polling units including collated Election results.
From the foregoing Provisions, it is crystal clear that the transmission of Election results in a manner prescribed by the commission can either be Manually or electronically.Also, The manner expected of Presiding officers to deliver their results can either be Manually or even electronically as may be prescribed by INEC… The law did not expressly provide that RESULT MUST be transmitted electronically. However it is compulsory that a register of election results should be updated and maintain electronically. INEC in it’s discretion can choose to collate and maintain such register anytime after the elections as no time frame was provided.
Notwithstanding the provisions of the law, INEC had expressly stated that it will not reverse its decision to use Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) and the INEC Result Viewing Portal (IReV) for the 2023 general elections. INEC has indeed failed in ensuring the full implementation of the electronic method it expressly prescribed in the last 2023 Presidential elections coupled by the series of electronic violence recorded in different parts of the country thereby seriously questioning the integrity of the Commission in conducting free, fair and credible Elections in Nigeria