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INEC Clarifies The Ban On Phones During Voting



Taraba INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner Dies

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has given further explanation on the use of smartphones and other image capturing devices  around the polling unit areas.

It said it was not banning the use of smartphone around the polling unit areas but was taking steps to prevent vote buying and election rigging.

The Chief Press Secretary to INEC Chairman, Rotimi Oyekanmi, in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Wednesday in Abuja, explained that the moment a prospective voter obtained a ballot paper and entered the voting cubicle to cast his or her vote, the use of phones would not be permitted, but such a person could use his/her phone again after casting the vote.

He stated this in reaction to the statement issued by the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Uche Secondus, condemning the decision of INEC to ban the use of smart phones at polling booths.

He explained that the electoral body was only trying to devise innovative ways to tackle the problem of vote buying in the country.

“In consultation with other stakeholders, the Commission came up with new measures to solve the problem, one of which is to disallow the use of smart phones and other electronic devices in the voting cubicles on election day.

“In other words, INEC is not banning phones around the polling unit area, but the ban takes effect from the moment a prospective voter collects his or her ballot paper and enters into voting cubicle to thumb print and thereafter drop the folded ballot paper into the ballot box.

“After that, the voter can have access to his or her phone.”

Mr Oyekanmi further warned against any attempt to politicize the issue which was a genuine preventive measure taken by the electoral umpire.

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