The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) will require the National Assembly to put in place legislative framework that will enable the commission to effectively deal with comprehensive electronic voting system in Nigeria, Innocent Chukwuma, regional Director, West Africa, Ford Foundation has said.
Chuwkuma, who was a guest on TVC’s Breakfast on Thursday, explained that for the commission to effectively carry out electronic voting in the country, there is need for a legislative framework that will accommodate such in the electoral act.
According to him, the present electoral act does not recognise electronic voting, stating that even the electronic registration of voters and card readers are not included in the present electoral act.
His words: “INEC needs legislative framework to effectively implement electronic voting in Nigeria. Electronic voting system is in stages – the electronic voter registration, the card reader, the electronic voting and transmission. Even the present electronic voter registration and the use of card readers are not yet captured in the electoral act. This is one of the reasons why election tribunals like that of Delta state struck out petitions of the All Progressives Congress in the 2015 governorship election, Chukwuma said.
But William Maranatha Nsobundu, a Political Affairs Analyst who was also a guest on the show, disagreed with Chukwuma. Williams explained that as an electoral umpire, INEC should do everything within its power to lobby the national Assembly in order to ensure that all legislative framework required for effective and comprehensive electronic voting are included in the electoral act.
” I don’t think INEC should wait until the National Assembly consider it appropriate to include electronic voting in the electoral act. As an umpire, INEC should should lobby the national Assembly in order to include electronic voting system in the electoral act,” Williams said.