Make Election Results Electronically Transmitted Mandatory; SAN Tasks NASS

A Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Wahab Shittu, has urged the National Assembly to make electronic transmission of election results by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to be compulsory.

He stated this while speaking in an interview with the New Telegraph on Sunday that this will build more confidence in the electoral process and the outcome of the result.

He argued that the current state of the law did not make it obligatory for INEC to electronically transmit election results.

According to him, the provision of the law is that the electoral body can transmit results electronically or manually.

Shittu said: “Much of the outcome of the election is dependent on the regulatory framework. The truth is; that the law as it is does not make the transmission of results electronically mandatory. INEC is given the latitude to transmit the result electronically or manually.

“If you read the Electoral Act, you will find it there. I conducted eight election petitions, House of Representatives and Senate, during this current exercise, without sounding immodest, I won all the cases.

“So, it is a terrain that I am familiar with. I can tell you that, that is the law as interpreted by the Supreme Court.

“Having said that, there is also the need to rejig the law, to tinker with it. You can make electronic transmission of results compulsory or obligatory in clear terms because there is no way INEC can enhance the quality of the results or operations without resorting to technology.

“Information technology is key and that is the way to go. Otherwise, it will be very difficult to prove irregularities in the conduct of any election.

“If you deploy efforts on technology, irregularities can easily be detected and proved. I think our lawmakers have a task in this regard and they must ensure that the rise to the best practices and ensure that information technology must be deployed and electronic transmission of election results is compulsory.“

The learned silk called on the Nigerian courts to ensure consistency in their pronouncements or judgments on issues brought before them.

According to him, the outcome of litigations must be predicted based on precedents and the law.

He opined that conflicting pronouncements by the jurists is also a disservice to the judiciary.

Shittu said: “There must be consistency in judicial pronouncements. Stakeholders should also be able to predict the outcome of judicial decisions against some precedents. Conflicting pronouncements by the jurists is also a disservice to the vanguard of justice.

So I think it is a stakeholder problem and I believe authorities who are concerned are aware and are taking proactive steps to ensure that these are reduced to the barest minimum because for the system of law to inspire confidence, it must be predictable, consistent, and it must follow judicial precedent. I think this is a stakeholder’s problem and it is being addressed.”