By Andy Chukwu
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has disclosed that it only used an electronic server as an experiment during some state governorship elections held in 2018.
Solomon Soyebi, INEC National Commissioner, said the commission jettisoned the idea of using a server for this year’s general elections over some factors including the late release of its budget.
Speaking on Monday during a retreat organised by INEC for its staff in the general elections in Osun state, Soyebi said while INEC experimented with the server in states like Anambra and Osun, it did not adopt it for this year’s general elections.
“We piloted the use of transmission of election results electronically in Sokoto, in Anambra, even in Osun. What happened was that we were trying to pilot to see the desirability of such technology in our electoral process,” he said.
“First, our budget came out very late, there was also issue (with) the electoral act. For these and some other reasons, the commission did not adopt that option. 2019 elections were conducted according to Law.
“We used the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, we used the electoral act and our guidelines for 2019 elections. If you look at the three instruments carefully, the issue of server was not highlighted.
“Once in a while, you will see an experiment going on but we have to pilot it before we will deploy wholesale for election. We did not use it because of circumstances beyond the control of the commission,” Soyebi stated.
This comes on the heels of an ongoing debate on whether the commission has a server where it transmits results electronically during the 2019 general election.
One of the arguments of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at the ongoing hearing of the presidential election petition tribunal is that the results gotten from the purported server shows Atiku Abubakar, its candidate, got the highest votes during the polls.
But INEC has since dismissed the claim, saying it has no such server.