The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has again rejected the idea of having to seek approval from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) before it can electronically transmit election results in Nigeria.
The electoral umpire submitted that it is wrong for the National Assembly to have subjected its operations to approval from another federal agency.
INEC national commissioner and chairman, electoral operations and logistics committee (EOLC), Okechukwu Ibeanu made the stand known on Tuesday during the commission’s third quarterly meeting with media executives.
He said the constitution has already empowered INEC to do everything necessary to deliver credible elections in the country without having to defer its operations to external influences.
In his words, “That is absolutely unconstitutional. You cannot ask INEC to seek the approval of another agency of government to transmit results electronically when actually INEC has the power to impose duties on NCC to achieve electronic transmission of results.”
“I completely agree that in the context of underscoring the independence of the commission, section 160 of the constitution has done everything it needs to do. What is left is for INEC to use the power it has under the constitution to achieve its aim.”
Naija News recalls the Senate had during its consideration of the electoral amendment bill, concluded that before INEC can deploy electronic transmission of election results, the electoral umpire must secure the approval of the NCC.
The lawmakers had argued that the NCC is in the right position to determine if results could be transmitted electronically in Nigeria.
Meanwhile, the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board has dismissed reports by Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State accusing the board of giving preferential cut-off marks to students sitting for UTME in the north.
Recall that El-Rufai told Channels TV that the board usually gives a lower cut-off mark to candidates from the northern region for admission to tertiary institutions.
He however stated that for the sake of maintaining standards in the nation’s education sector such practice must stop and all candidates must be treated equally.
According to him, the preferential treatment has been counterproductive as it has made northerners lazy, hence the need for JAMB to stop the act.
Reacting in an interview with PUNCH, JAMB’s Head of Information and Media, Fabian Benjamin, said El-Rufai was wrong in saying that UTME candidates of northern extraction enjoyed special privileges or lower cut-off marks.
According to the JAMB spokesperson, it was not the duty of the examination body to set the minimum scores for admission into schools.
Source: Naija News