The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has said it cannot guarantee total safety for the electronic transmission of results, explaining that no system is completely free from hackers.
Federal lawmakers had a rowdy session as debates over the inclusion of electronic transmission of results in the Electoral Act Amendment took centre stage in the chambers on Thursday in Abuja.
But the Executive Commissioner of the NCC, Adeleke Adewolu told lawmakers at the House of Representatives on Friday that while concerns over the electronic transmission of results are genuine, no system can guarantee a 100 percent shield from hacking.
The NCC boss also stated that elections results can only be transmitted by a 3G network, noting that 50 percent of the country has 3G coverage.
He, however, explained that for areas without such coverage, poll results can be recorded and thereafter uploaded in places where there is a network. But Adeleke admitted that this cannot be compared with the real-time upload.
The House of Representatives had failed to reach an agreement over the controversial clause.
This was after Deputy Speaker Idris Wase ruled against the electronic transmission of results despite a resounding vote in favour of electronic transmission.
Subsequently, the Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, said the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the NCC would be present on Friday to give further clarifications on the Electoral Act with a major focus on section 52(3).
At the end of voting, 28 Senators mostly from the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) voted for the original amendment in the report while 52 Senators backed the amendment as proposed by Senator Sabi Abdullahi.
This means the majority of Senators voted that INEC may consider electronic transmission provided the national network coverage is adjudged to be adequate and secure by NCC and approved by the National Assembly.
The Senate on Thursday passed the electoral amendment bill amid tensions over how electronic transmission of votes should be implemented.
A report by the Senate Committee on Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had suggested that electronic transmission be employed by INEC where practicable, as contained in section 52(3) of the bill.
But Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi (APC, Niger North), during consideration of the report, moved that INEC should only consider electronic transmission if the national network coverage is adjudged to be adequate and secure by the Nigerian Communications Commission and approved by the National Assembly.
Senator Abdullahi’s motion was seconded by Senator Ali Ndume (APC, Borno South).
But some Senators disagreed, plunging the Senate into disarray.
Senate minority leader Enyinnanya Abaribe (PDP, Abia South) then called for public voting.
According to Abaribe, the process would allow Nigerians to know who is voting for what.
The Senators proceeded to publicly vote along party lines.
In the end, 28 Senators, all from the PDP, voted for the original amendment in the report while 52 Senators, all from the APC, voted for the amendment as proposed by Senator Abdullahi.
Below is a list of how they voted:
Those who voted for NCC Clearance:
▪︎Ovie Omo-Agege (APC-Delta Central)
▪︎Peter Nwaoboshi (APC-Delta North)
Mohammed Ali Ndume (APC-Borno South)
▪︎Opeyemi Bamidele (APC-Ekiti Central)
▪︎Ibrahim Abdullahi Gobir (APC-Sokoto East)
▪︎Mohammed Danjuma Goje (APC-Gombe Central)
▪︎Yusuf Abubakar Yusuf (APC-Taraba Central)
▪︎Bomai Ibrahim Mohammed (APC-Yobe South)
▪︎Sahabi Alhaji Ya’u (APC-Zamfara North)
▪︎Uba Sani (APC-Kaduna Central)
▪︎Kabiru Gaya (APC-Kano South)
▪︎Ishaku Elisha Abbo (APC-Adamawa North)
▪︎Ahmad Babba Kaita (APC-Katsina North)
▪︎Adamu Aliero (APC-Kebbi Central)
▪︎Yahaya Abdullahi (APC-Kebbi North)
▪︎Yakubu Oseni (APC-Kogi Central)
▪︎Isah Jibrin (APC-Kogi East)
▪︎Smart Adeyemi (APC-Kogi West)
▪︎Ibrahim Yahaya Oloriegbe (APC-Kwara Central)
▪︎Oluremi Tinubu (APC-Lagos-Central)
▪︎Solomon Adeola (APC-Lagos-West)
▪︎Tanko Al-Makura (APC-Nasarawa South)
▪︎Godiya Akwashiki (APC-Nasarawa North)
▪︎Abdullahi Adamu (APC-Nasarawa West)
▪︎Mohammed Sani Musa (APC-Niger East)
▪︎Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi (APC-Niger North)
▪︎Birma Mohammed Enagi (APC-Niger South)
▪︎Nora Ladi Dadu’ut (APC-Plateau South)
▪︎Francis Alimikhena (APC-Edo North)
▪︎Abubakar Kyari (APC-Borno North)
▪︎Surajudeen Ajibola (APC-Osun Central)
▪︎Robert Ajayi Boroffice (APC-Ondo North)
▪︎Orji Uzor Kalu (APC-Abia North)
▪︎Aderele Oriolowo (APC-Osun West)
▪︎Aishatu Dahiru Ahmed (APC-Adamawa Central)
▪︎Degi Eremienyo (APC-Bayelsa East)
▪︎Ashiru Yisa (APC-Kwara South)
▪︎Bello Mandiya (APC-Katsina South)
▪︎Hezekiah Dimka Ayuba (APC-Plateau Central)
▪︎Francis Ibezim (APC-Imo North)
▪︎Kashim Shettima (APC-Borno Central)
▪︎Stephen Odey (APC-Cross River North)
▪︎Shuaibu Isa Lau (APC-Taraba North)
▪︎Alkali Saidu (APC-Gombe North)
▪︎Amos Bulus (APC-Gombe South)
▪︎Danladi Sankara (APC-Jigawa North-West)
▪︎Hadejia Hassan Ibrahim (APC-Jigawa North-East)
▪︎Suleiman Abdul Kwari (APC-Kaduna North)
▪︎Abdullahi Barkiya (APC-Katsina Central)
▪︎Jika Dauda Haliru (APC-Bauchi Central)
▪︎Lawali Anka (APC-Zamfara West)
▪︎Lawal Yahaya Gamau (APC-Bauchi South)
Those who voted for INEC to unilaterally decide to transmit results
Former presidential candidate, Kingsley Moghalu believes the #EndSARS protests which rocked the country in October 2020 is a sign that Nigerian youths have realized that the future of the nation is in their hands.
“First of all, it gives us hope that all hope is not lost,” the former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said during an interview on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Wednesday.
“It tells us that our young people are finally coming to realize that the future belongs to them and they have to make a choice as to whether the posterity of Nigeria will belong to them or whether all they would do is to simply inherit our foreign debt.”
– ‘The Way To Go’ –
Moghalu who contested the 2019 presidential election under the Young Progressive Party (YPP), also called on youths to embrace what he described as structural politics if they are to make an impact in the country’s political terrain.
He argued that that is the only way to translate the energy of the #EndSARS protests into political gains for the country.
“The way to go is to go into structural politics. That is to say, to join political parties, to be able to vote, to register and to vote and to be able to be voted for.”
A critical part of making this happen, the 58-year-old explained, is the amendment of the country’s electoral laws which he described as low-hanging fruit in deepening Nigeria’s democratic system.
“That is so critical even as we fight or struggle for a new constitution. The immediate thing before us is the Electoral Amendment Act. It’s the low-hanging fruit because it will be completed within the next couple of months, hopefully, and we should insist that it provides a transparent process of electing our leaders where our votes count not just the people who count the vote,” Moghalu added.
“And I think this should be done through a system of electronic voting, electronic transmission of results.
“Anything that creates loopholes for election results to be manipulated, we must avoid it because that is part of what removes confidence from our democratic process and leaves a lot of citizens apathetic. Because they say, ‘Well, they would just rig the election, why should I bother?’ We must move away from this!”
—Protests Against Brutality—
The #EndSARS protests – which were largely driven by youths and against police brutality- rocked the country in October 2020.
Although the protests were largely peaceful at the onset, they were later hijacked by hoodlums leading to a looting spree and the destruction of properties in several parts of Nigeria.