Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State has berated the Senate for empowering the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to determine electronic transmission of election results.
Recall that the Senate on Thursday finally passed the electoral act amendment bill after the contentious issue of the transmission of election results electronically was debated.
But in a statement on Thursday, governor Tambuwal said the decision to allow NCC to determine the electronic transmission of election results is unlawful.
The former speaker of the House of Representatives asked the Senate to reverse the decision and allow the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to decide the electronic transmission of results.
Tambuwal, however, commended the house of representatives on its “wise” decision to call on INEC to address the country on its readiness to deploy electronic transmission technology for elections in 2023.
The statement reads: “The decision of the Senate to subject INECs constitutional power to conduct elections to the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), and National Assembly is patently unconstitutional.
“For the avoidance of doubt, S.78 of the Constitution provides that “The Registration of voters and the CONDUCT of elections shall be SUBJECT to the DIRECTION and SUPERVISION of Independent National Electoral Commission”. In Third Schedule, Part 1,F, S.15: INEC has power to ORGANISE, UNDERTAKE and SUPERVISE all elections. The Constitution further provides that INEC OPERATIONS SHALL NOT be subject to the direction OF ANYBODY or AUTHORITY.
“Unquestionably, the mode of election and transmission are critical parts of the CONDUCT, SUPERVISION, UNDERTAKING and ORGANISATION of elections in Nigeria. Of course the National Assembly has power to flesh out the legal framework but that has to be consistent with the Constitution.
“These constitutional powers have been solely and EXCLUSIVELY PRESCRIBED BY THE CONSTITUTION to INEC, and CANNOT BE SHARED WITH the NCC, or any other Authority, and certainly not a body unknown to the Constitution. The Senate decision to subject INECs constitutional power to conduct elections to NCC is consequently patently void, unconstitutional and unlawful.
“We had earlier counselled that that the mode of conducting elections and in particular the transmission of votes be left with INEC who would monitor developments and determine at every election the type of technology to be deployed to ensure free, fair and credible elections.
“INEC also has constitutional power backed by the Electoral Act to make rules and guidelines to ensure that every vote is counted and that every vote counts.”