Olusegun Agbaje, the Resident Electoral Commissioner of Ogun State, has declared that the the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) “is absolutely empowered by the constitution to transmit election results electronically without seeking the approval of the National Communication Commission (NCC).”
Agbaje said this while briefing journalists in Abeokuta, the state capital, on Thursday.
The National Assembly had insisted that the commission must seek the approval of NCC before transmitting election results electronically.
But Agbaje disagreed, insisting that INEC has constitutional backing to transmit election results electronically without the approval of NCC.
He urged the Federal lawmakers not to stop INEC from performing their constitutional role.
The REC said it would be a great disservice to Nigerians and democracy if the National Assembly prevents INEC from transmitting election results electronically.
He said, “The commission is in no way shy in transmitting election results electronically. In fact, we have the capacity to do that. We are only waiting for the National Assembly not to disturb us.
“Even as we are now today, I believe that the commission has enough reason and legislation to back us to do this.
“People have been saying there is no law to backing this, but we have law, unfortunately that law signed by former President Goodluck Jonathan was not brought out before the 2015 general election, but it was signed before the election. We have that law which also backs us to conduct our election using technology.
“Even without the National Assembly coming to our aid, the law we have has already capacitated us to go ahead to do transmission if the National Assembly will not stop us because if they are going ahead with this committee they have set at the two houses, if the two houses now resolve that we should not do it, it means that there is a new law against banning us.”
Agbaje lamented the low participation of eligible voters in the first quarter of the ongoing Continuous Voters’ Registration (CVR) exercise in the state
According to him, Ogun recorded the lowest registration of voters in Southwest, compared to Osun, Ondo and Ekiti states.
Giving the figures of registered voters so far, Agbaje said, 46,937 residents of the state registered online while only 12,231 completed their physical registration.
He added that Osun has 63,259 completed voters’ registered, while Ondo has 20,632 and 19,128 people have registered in Ekiti state.