Bisi ABASS

THE Independent National Electoral Commission on Tuesday said the newly introduced Bimodal Voter Accreditation System would replace the Smart Card Reader and Z-pad

INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, made the announcement, at the third quarterly meeting of INEC with media executives in Abuja.

Yakubu emphasized, that this would take care of the challenges of over-voting and double voting in elections.

He also spoke on the Anambra State governorship election scheduled for November 6, saying, “In the next few days, the commission will compile the register of new voters and publish same throughout the state for claims and objections.”

Also speaking, the Commission’s Commissioner and Chairman (Electoral Operations and Logistic Committee), Prof. Okechukwu Ibeanu submitted that INEC has the constitutional mandate to impose duties on NCC in order to achieve the electronic transmission of results rather than seeking the approval of the Nigerian Communications Commission, (NCC).

The National Assembly had told the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Mahmood Yakubu, to seek proper

legal advice instead of misinforming Nigerians on the independence of INEC to conduct elections.

On the decision of the National Assembly to subject its constitutional power to conduct elections to the NCC, Ibeanu said, “That is absolutely unconstitutional. You cannot ask INEC to seek the approval of another agency of government to transmit result electronically when actually INEC has power to impose duties on NCC to achieve electronic transmission of results.

“I completely agree that in the context of underscoring the independence of the commission, section 160 of the Constitution has done everything it needs to do. What is left is for INEC to use the power it has under the constitution to achieve it aim.”

On the independence of INEC to transmit results electronically, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Senator Ajibola Basiru, advised on Tuesday that it would be proper for the chairman (of INEC) to seek proper legal advice on the interpretation of item 22 and Section 4 of the 1999 Constitution.

“INEC, in implementing the law, becomes independent pursuant to the constitutional provision. He (INEC chairman) should not muddle the independence of INEC with that of its agency’s operations, as to the legislative competence of the National Assembly to stipulate framework for elections.

“The INEC chairman does not seem to know the position of the law as to the constitutional power of INEC vis a vis the National Assembly from what he said. I will advise him to seek proper legal advice,” Basiru said.

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