APC Celebrates As Senate Approves Former INEC Boss, Jega’s ‘2015 Rigging Strategy’ For 2019 Election

APC Celebrates As Senate Approves Former INEC Boss, Jega's '2015 Rigging Strategy' For 2019 Election

The Senate, on Thursday, approved and legalised the use of card readers for the 2019 general elections, which was introduced by in 2015, by the former Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Chairman, Attahiru Jega, to allegedly rig out former President, Goodluck Jonathan, from office.

Recall, that the use of card readers according to some Political Analysts, aided in rigging out of Jonathan from office in 2015.

The Lawmakers also set new guidelines for political parties, on the conduct of direct and indirect primaries.

The approval of e-voting is contained in Section 52 (2).

It states: “The Commission shall adopt electronic voting in all elections, or any other method of voting as may be determined by the Commission, from time to time.”

It added: “This amendment mandates e-voting without ambiguity, but also gives the Commission the discretion to use other methods if it is impracticable to use e-voting in any election.”

It read in part: “A person, who being a member of a political party, misrepresents himself by not disclosing his membership, affiliation, or connection to any political party, in order to secure an appointment with the Commission in any capacity, commits an offence, and shall be liable on conviction, to imprisonment for at least five (5) years, or a fine of at least N5,000,000, or both.”

A former Chairman of the Senate Committee on INEC, Senator Abubakar Kyari, while addressing Journalists after the plenary, said Nigeria’s electoral umpire would be empowered to make the electoral process fully electronic, if the bill was signed by the President.

He said: “If you remember, the fallout of the 2015 election was the use of the smart card reader. You will also remember court judgments that did not accept the use of the smart card reader, as part of the process of accrediting the voter. You will also understand that the smart card is not used in voting, but used as a means of accrediting the individual.

“We also had minor lapses with the smart card reader during the 2015 elections. One thing is certain: the smart card readers did not fail to read cards, what they failed to do was to tie the cards with the individuals through their biometrics. The card readers refused in some instances, to connect the biometric fingerprint to the cards. So, there were many problems with smart card readers.

“What we did in essence, is to authenticate the use of smart card readers as a means of accrediting a voter in the Electoral Act. That is one of the major landmarks that we have embedded in the Electoral Act.

“Another major amendment is the use of any other electronic devices (for election). The smart card reader, as the name connotes, is specific to reading the smart card. But what we have now done, is that we have also allowed INEC to use any other technological devices in the process; not necessarily sticking to the card reader.

“We have expanded the definition of that instrument or any other instrument that will guide INEC in terms of accreditation. We have also given INEC the powers to introduce electronic voting, through any technological devices as INEC deems it fit, if they think the time is right.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.