INEC may relocate sensitive materials from CBN, says Yakubu

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The Independent National Electoral Commission on Thursday said it would employ both the manual and electronic methods in the transmission of the 2023 elections results.

The commission also said there is a possibility of moving sensitive materials from the Central Bank of Nigeria to another location.

The chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, said these during a consultative meeting with the media in Abuja on Thursday.

Responding to a question on the political ambition and partisanship of the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, Yakubu said the commission might be forced to find another arrangement for the handling of sensitive materials.

The INEC chairman said the CBN is responsible for the storage and movement of sensitive materials, adding that the commission has never doubt the capacity of the CBN to discharge that responsibility.

He said, “But I understand the context in which the question is asked. But you should also understand the context in which events are unfolding. As we speak, our director, litigation and prosecution is in court.

“There is a case in court. We have been invited to state our own side of the story. We usually refrain from talking about such issues because there is essentially subjudice.

“But we are already started talking about what alternatives are available to us in case we need to change the arrangement for the handling of sensitive materials. We have started thinking about it. We are aware of the situation. We will watch the situation. We still have 9 months before the next general elections.

“Things may be addressed before then. I want to assure you that we will not jeopardize the conduct of the election by creating a misconception around the situation in the process.”

According to him, INEC would partner with the Economic Financial Crime Commission to check the spending of political parties during the 2023 election.

Yakubu added that the provision of the Electoral Act 2022 in the management of results was still basically manual involving the recording of results on forms and their delivery to various levels of collation until declaration and returns are made.

While declaring however that the law still provides for e-transmission of results, Yakubu quoted Section 64 of the Electoral Act, saying electronic transmission of results would only be done in the event of a dispute during the course of collation.

He said there was need to clear the misconception around e-transmission of results, saying many Nigerians equate it with electronic voting where voting can take place from any location.

A brief contained in the implementation procedure for electronic transmission of results given to journalists at the parley said the presiding officer is expected to transmit a clear image of form EC8A (result sheets) for purpose of collation which goes to the INEC Results Viewing Portal.

According to the document, the PO is also expected to deliver the hard copy of EC8A and the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System, BVAS to the Registration Collation Officer.

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