INEC To Continue To ‘Deepen Use Of Technology’ In Elections

A file photo of the INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu.

 

Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Mahmood Yakubu on Friday said the electoral umpire will continue to deepen the use of technology in conducting elections across the country.

Professor Yakubu made the comment while speaking at the opening ceremony of a two-day retreat for officers of the commission in Keffi, Nasarawa state.

According to him, INEC does not need new laws to deploy certain technologies.

Professor Mahmoud’s comment comes weeks after the National Assembly was divided over whether the electronic transmission of election results should be sacrosanct in the latest amendment of the electoral act.

“The one that is new and innovative that we are deploying in Anambra is the security app, in view of what happened recently with our facilities in a number of places around the country,” he said.

“So we may have different tools, but they all work towards achieving one and the same goal.

“There are some activities, some aspects of technology that we have deployed that the laws are already adequate for us to continue to deploy these tools.

“We don’t need any specific provisions of law, for instance, to deploy the EMSC ( Election Monitoring and Support Centre).

“We don’t need any specific provisions of the law to keep deepening the use of technology for voters registration, for instance, which we are doing.”

Buhari Writes Senate, Seeks Yakubu’s Confirmation As INEC Chairman

President Buhari Signs NCDC Bill Into Law
A file photo of President Muhammadu Buhari.

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has written to the Senate seeking approval for the confirmation of Professor Mahmoud Yakubu for a second term in office as the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Senate President Ahmad Lawan read the letter on Tuesday at the resumption of legislative proceedings after a one month recess.

READ ALSO: 2019 Elections: Court Orders Arrest Of Professor Over Electoral Fraud

In his letter, President Buhari solicited for the lawmakers’ expeditious consideration of his request for another five-year tenure for Mahmoud as INEC Chairman.

Yakubu earlier in November handed over his duties as chairman of the electoral body to Air Vice Marshal Ahmed Muazu at an event held at INEC headquarters in Abuja.

Ahmed is currently acting in that capacity pending when the Senate confirms the reappointment of Professor Yakubu as INEC chairman by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Professor Mahmood Yakubu hands over the leadership mantle to acting INEC Chairman, Ahmed Muazu, at the commission’s headquarters in Abuja on November 9, 2020. Photo: Channels TV/ Sodiq Adelakun.

 

Muazu has however assured that the departure of Professor Mahmood Yakubu and other National Commissioners from the commission will not affect electoral activities.

He said this during an interactive session with election stakeholders in Bayelsa State ahead of the December 5 bye-elections in the state.

INEC Is Committed To Introducing Electronic Balloting For Anambra Elections Next Year – Mahmood

INEC Chairman, Mahmoud Yakubu. Photo: Sodiq Adelakun/Channels Television June 30, 2020

 

The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mahmood Yakubu, has said that the commission remains committed to improving electoral processes in the country.

According to him, one of the things it plans to implement in the coming year is the introduction of electronic balloting.

Yakubu said the commission intends to introduce this during the Anambra elections, taking place in 2021.

“The commission is committed to introducing at least electronic balloting in the major election we are going to conduct next year, which happens to be the Anambra governorship election and thereafter, with the support of the National Assembly, we hope that the legal environment will improve such that we can also go ahead to collate and transmit results electronically”.

The INEC boss said this on Tuesday during a town hall meeting tagged Fixing Nigerian Elections, adding that “at present, the law doesn’t permit that because the system is essentially manual”.

He made the comments while responding to a question about what he would like to improve about the electoral system in the country.

“There are quite a number of issues, one of which is the deployment of technology,” the INEC boss said.

“We would like a situation where the electoral legal environment is reformed in such a manner that will continue to deepen the deployment of technology in elections.

“I am happy with what the commission has done since 2010. Recall that there is a trajectory. We started in 2010 with the biometric register of voters and so in 2011, the Commission essentially updated the biometric register and we did the same thing in 2014 and in 2017 and in 2018 over a period of 16 months in which we added 14.2 million Nigerians to the register.

“The second is biometric accreditation of voters and there was an innovation introduced in 2015, the smart card readers that go along with the permanent voters’ card.

“We have achieved that. We are looking forward (particularly with the 2015 amendment) to the electoral Act that empowers the commission to deepen the use of technology, in voting, particularly in the era of electronic voting, to see how far we can go a notch higher,” he added.

PHOTOS: INEC Continues Press Briefing Ahead Of Elections

INEC officials at a press briefing on Thursday. Source: Channels TV/ Sodiq Adelakun

 

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has held another briefing regarding its preparedness for the general elections.

During the briefing on Thursday, the Chairman, Mahmoud Yakubu, answered a series of questions from journalists and election observers.

Read Also:  I See No Reason To Contemplate Resigning – INEC Chairman

See photos below.

No Third Parties Are Involved In Configuration Of Card Readers – INEC Chairman

 

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), says no third parties are involved in the configuration of card readers.

The INEC Chairman, said this on Tuesday while responding to questions during a press briefing in Abuja.

He said, “I want to assure the person who asked the question and assure the nation that no third parties are involved in the configuration of smart card readers of the Commission.

“The dispatching, white-listing, installation, upgrading of software, configuration of smart card readers are done entirely by the officials of the Commission.

“So there is no way any vendor outside can be involved in the configuration of our smart card readers.

“So it is not true that anybody is involved in the configuration of the smart card readers in any way.

“This is entirely done by the Commission’s IT under the supervision at state level of HODs ICT or some official from headquarters of the Commission so there is no way any vendor can partake in the configuration of smart card readers”.

Read Also: No Commissioner Or Director Was Arrested, Says INEC Boss

Speaking further, the INEC boss noted that the Commission as of Monday, had achieved 95 per cent configuration of the 180,000 smartcard readers and the process would be completed by Wednesday.

Professor Yabuku again offered his regrets over the postponement of the elections, saying the Commission is working hard to ensure that the rescheduled elections hold and are free and fair.

He said INEC takes full responsibility and acknowledges the inconveniences and cost of the shift in dates.

Furthermore, he thanked Nigerians and all election stakeholders for their understanding, despite the difficulties occasioned by the change.

INEC Extends Deadline For PVC Collection

 

The Independent National Electoral Commissioner (INEC), has extended collection of Permanent Voter Cards to Monday, February 11, 2019.

Chairman of the commission, Professor Mahmoud Yakubu, made the announcement on Friday, during a meeting with Resident Electoral Commissioners.

With the general elections just days from now, the Commission had announced that the deadline for the collection of PVCs will be today, Friday.

The decision to extend the date was, however, reached after the RECs gave situation reports on the collection of PVCs in their respective states.

Professor Yakubu had stated at an earlier meeting that millions of PVCs were yet to be collected.

Read Also: General Elections: We’ve Removed Over 1,000 Illegal PVCs From Voter System, Says INEC

Meanwhile, in a recent interview with Channels Television, Yakubu said the Commission had expunged over 1000 fake PVCs identified in the country.

He said, “We have liaised with the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS ) and they have done a fantastic job in confiscating cards where there are PVCs from aliens who registered. Remember the law says it is only Nigerians who are entitled to register and vote in our elections.

“I think now we have well over a thousand cards. The last batch submitted was well over 600 cards of aliens who registered and we have registered those from the register.”

The INEC boss also explained that the commission has established a good relationship with the Immigration to identify foreigners who may want to disguise as citizens to vote during the elections.

INEC Restates Commitment To Ensuring Credible Polls In 2019

 

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it is examining additional ways of safeguarding the sanctity of the ballot ahead of the 2019 general elections.

The INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, said this on Wednesday in Abuja at a meeting with Resident Electoral Commissioners.

He also commended political parties over what he described as issue-based campaigns.

Yakubu said, “Campaigns for the 2019 elections commenced on Sunday 18th November 2018 as provided by the electoral act and in line with our timetable and our schedule of activities.

“The commission is committed to closely monitoring the campaigns to ensure compliance with the extant laws and regulations. We are pleased that the focus in the last few days since the commencement of the campaigns, has been on policies rather than personalities – we sincerely hope it remains this way.

“At today’s meeting, we will discuss with the resident electoral commissioners on the progress made on the collection of outstanding Permanent Voter Cards by citizens as well as modalities for a more efficient administration of the collection process.

“Similarly, the meeting will consider the recruitment and training of election duties staff, discuss the ongoing review of the framework for voting by internally displaced persons, explore additional assistive measures in support of persons with disabilities in the electoral process”.


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INEC Boss Asks Appeal Court To Quash Arrest Order Against Him

INEC Boss Asks Appeal Court To Quash Arrest Order Against Him
INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu (file)

 

The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmoud Yakubu, has asked the Court of Appeal to quash the arrest order issued against him.

He made the request in an appeal filed on Thursday in Abuja, through his lead counsel and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr Adegboyega Awomolo.

READ ALSO: Court Orders Arrest Of INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu

Justice Stephen Pam of the Federal High Court in the nation’s capital had issued the warrant of arrest against Professor Yakubu on Wednesday for allegedly disobeying court orders.

In the notice of appeal, the INEC Chairman, however, claimed that Justice Pam acted in bad faith in the issuance of the arrest order.

He explained that he had already filed a pending appeal against the order while the attention of the judge was drawn to the appeal.

Yakubu submitted among other claims that up till date, no order was enrolled and served on him for his personal appearance in court as required by the law.

He noted that the warrant of arrest against him was a nullity because none of the parties in the contempt case applied for issuance of a bench warrant, except the judge who reportedly did so on his own.

The INEC boss stressed that he has not disobeyed any court order since he was not present before the court when the alleged order directing his personal presence was made.

He added that Justice Pam who has no jurisdiction to punish him for the alleged disobedience of court order committed ex-facie curie (outside the court).

Professor Yakubu said he was no longer a contemnor at the Federal High Court under the strength of his appeal lodged at the Court of Appeal challenging the justification of the contempt charge against him.

He argued that the trial court breached Section 36 of the 1999 Constitution by striking out his motion without hearing it, thereby denying him his right to fair hearing in the determination on the merit of his application.

Justice Pam issued a bench warrant against the INEC boss on Wednesday, following his alleged failure to appear before the court on three occasions to defend himself in the contempt charge brought against him by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Anambra State.

INEC Ready To Conduct Area Council Elections In Abuja

INECThe Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it has put all necessary logistics in place for the area council elections in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

The electoral umpire gave the assurance on Tuesday, at a meeting between the Commission and stakeholders in Abuja.

The INEC Chairman, Mahmoud Yakubu, said that there would be a curfew from 9:00am till 4:00pm on Saturday, April 9 in the FCT, as part of measures to ensure a credible electoral process.

Mr Yakubu also revealed that the INEC plans to conduct re-run elections in Usuma ward of Bwari Area Council on Saturday April 16, in line with directives from the court to include the All progressive Grand Alliance in the re-run election.

INEC To Improve Card Reader Usage, Efficiency

INECThe Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it will increase the quantity and quality of card readers.

This was disclosed by the INEC Chairman, Mahmoud Yakubu, on Tuesday during his first meeting with the regional commissioners in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

Mr Yakubu said that INEC would also begin to use votes collation machines for speedier and more credible polls.

He added that 81 elections carried out in 2015 had been nullified and 15 upturned showing a number more than the 2007 and 2011 elections combined.

The INEC boss recommended that increased use of technology was the way to prevent re-occurrence of such challenge.

“I have said it before that this commission will not experiment but rather consolidate. Technology has come to stay. Not only with the PVCs and the Card Readers

“We are going to go a step higher to see if we can also deploy technology for collation and transmission of results so that we will make the processes between the conclusion of elections at the polling unit and the counting of the final tally at the collation centre speedy and even more accurate,” the INEC boss explained.

He also announced plans by the commission to review its policies towards improving the electoral process.