A public interest and human rights lawyer, Inibehe Effiong, has accused presiding officers of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, of committing a criminal offence by failing to transmit results to the IReV portal on completion of elections.
“What’s material is the time and place of transmission. The law says it should be done after completion of the process of election at polling units. Not at the collation centre. INEC has failed. Transmitting afterwards defeats the very intention of the law for this requirement,” he said.
According to him, by virtue of Section 60 (5) of the Electoral Act 2022 and Clause 38 of the Regulations and Guidelines for the Conduct of Election, 2022, presiding officers must transmit results to the INEC Result Viewing Portal on completion of elections. Failure to comply is a criminal offence.
Effiong, who took to Twitter to vent his dissatisfaction over INEC’s conduct of the 2023 presidential election, said: “Given the nationwide substantial failure of presiding officers to transfer results to the INEC Result Viewing Portal as mandated by law, this election was conducted in contravention of the law. The INEC has admitted this contravention and there should be legal consequences.
“By Section 134(1)(C) of the Electoral Act, non-compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act is a ground for challenging an election. The Prof Mahmoud-led INEC has failed and it is very shameful. He has taken our electoral system backwards. He should be held accountable.”
Describing the commission’s recent statement as ridiculous, the human rights lawyer asserted that “it is such a shame that INEC is preoccupied with announcing questionable results rather than addressing widespread flaws, rigging, violence, disenfranchisement and voter suppression across the country.”