The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has explained why the results of the 2019 general elections were not transmitted electronically to its server.
According to the electoral umpire, the late release of funds to the commission for the polls and controversies over the Electoral Act, among other reasons forced the body to jettison the idea of using the technology to transmit results to the central server.
INEC National Commissioner Solomon Soyebi gave the explanation during a Post-election Retreat organised by the Commission for members of its staff and ad hoc workers engaged for the last general elections in Osun State.
He said the commission only experimented the technology during some staggered elections held last year.
According to Soyebi, the clarification was necessary because of the rising controversies on the transmission of the 2019 presidential election results from states to the INEC server.
He further explained that many factors forced the commission to drop the idea of electronic transmission of the results to central server.
Soyebi said that the body INEC experimented the use of electronic transmission of results with Anambra, Sokoto and Osun elections, held before the February and March elections but it did not sustain the use of the technology during general elections.
He said: “We piloted the use of transmission of election results electronically in Sokoto, in Anambra, even in Osun. What happened was that we were trying to pilot to see the desirability of such technology in our electoral process.
“First, our budget came out very late, there was also issue of Electoral Act. For these and some other reasons, the Commission did not adopt that option. 2019 elections were conducted according to Law.
“We used the Constitution of the Federal Republic, we used Electoral Act and our guidelines for 2019 elections. If you look at the three instruments carefully, the issue of server was not highlighted.
“Once in a while, you will see an experiment going on but we have to pilot it before we will deploy wholesale for election. We did not use it because of the circumstances beyond the control of the Commission.”
Speaking earlier, Resident Electoral Commissioner for Osun, Segun Agbaje, said that the elections were largely successful despite daunting challenges that characterised its conduct.
However, he lamented the “do or die” attitude of some politicians, which according to him, involved different illicit practices, including the use of thugs to win elections at all cost, adding that the Commission, in collaboration with security agents in the state drastically reduced the phenomenon during the general elections.