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Why Are Lawmakers Amending Constitution On Electronic Voting When INEC By Its Name Is Independent?

It is clear in the constitution that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is independent, what it means is that they have the power to conduct elections as they wish, whether manually or through electronic voting systems. Section 158(1) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria backed INEC independence. It stated a clear provision that in the performance of its duties, INEC shall not be subject to or be responsible to any other person or authority.

By its very name as INEC, emphasizing "Independent" is supposed to be independent of any other person, body, or authority in the conduct of its activities, which means any other law that seems to make INEC dependent on another body is null and void to the extent of its inconsistency, under Section 1(3) of the constitution. They can determine the date of the election, the number of political parties they want to accept, and how the election is going to be conducted.

However, the Senate spokesperson, Senator Ajibola Basiru on Sunday insisted that the National Assembly had the power to make laws on the mode of elections which he said includes the transmission of election results. This is in tandem with the Senate amendments to the Electoral Act on July 15th, where they inserted a clause that mandated the INEC to work the verdict of the National Communications Commission before it could transmit election results by electronic means.

The question many Nigerians have asked about this is why would the Lawmakers be interested in making laws to amend the constitution that granted independence to the INEC. Electronic voting should be the business of INEC and be the organization that will determine how best it will work for Nigeria. Although it is high time the country adopts electronic voting in its voting system because it is a way of reducing the cost of election and avoid unnecessary traveling to the polling units for voting.

Content created and supplied by: Mrliman (via Opera News )

Constitution of the Federal Republic INEC Independent National Electoral Commission

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