Electronic Transmission: Senators Lied Over Coverage – Ex-INEC Chief
*Asks Commission to Sue Senate
A former Director of Voter Education at the Independent National Electoral Commission, Oluwole Osaze Uzzi, on Friday said senators’ excuse for the rejection of electronic transfer of election results was a blatant lie.
He said the position that only about 48% of the Nigerian space is covered by Internet penetration was a big lie to cover up for what he called the “breach of their oaths.”
He said as far back as 2018, the National Communication Commission had confirmed that 98% of Nigeria had coverage.
Osaze-Uzzi advised INEC to proceed to the court to challenge the decision of the senate, saying the same law that set up the senate set up the commission.
The former INEC chief was speaking on a live television programme on Arise TV on Friday.
“I cannot make any sense of it (the rejection of electronic transmission). For the past six years, INEC has been using card readers. In 2018, INEC worked with the Nigerian Communication Commission,” he said
The INEC former chief said it is sinister for senators to reject electronic transfer, adding that many of those who voted against on Thursday had been on the side of deployment of technology for election as far back as 2014.
He expressed surprise over what may have changed for the senators to now go against what they had clamoured for more than five years ago.
He said, “INEC did this thing in Ondo. It did in Edo and has been piloting this in several other by-elections. Sorry, I just cannot make any sense out of it and don’t forget, since 2015, for more than six years now, INEC has been using card readers.
In 2018, INEC worked with the NCC and we found out that 98% of the country was covered.”
He said the National Assembly must be stopped from further bringing down the powers of INEC saying should the senators get away with this, they would continue “whittle down the powers of the commission.”
He accused the senators who voted against electronic transfer as hypocrites, saying that he was convinced most of them were aware of the position of the NCC as far back as 2018.