The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says its laws did not make it compulsory for it to transmit the 2023 presidential election results electronically.
The electoral body made its position known on Tuesday while responding to a petition filed before the Presidential Election Petitions Court (PEPC) in Abuja by the Action Peoples Party’s (APP) challenging the outcome of the 2023 presidential election.
The APP in its petition, had challenge the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s victory in the February 25 election, on the grounds that the electoral umpire failed to transmit results electronically, which violated the law.
But INEC, through one of its lawyers, Abubakar Mahmoud (SAN), insisted that the presidential elections in 2023 was free and fair, insisting that the Electoral Act does not require the electronic transmission of results.
“The election was free, fair, credible and in compliance with the constitution and the Electoral Act, 2022 and other relevant laws and guidelines, INEC stated in one of the documents before the tribunal.
“There was no collation system of the 3rd respondent (INEC) to which polling unit results were required to be transmitted by the presiding officers.
“The prescribed mode of collation was manual collation of the various forms EC8A, EC8B, EC8C,EC8D and EC8E in the presidential election.”
The electoral body also denied allegations that its officials tampered with results in order to favour a particular political party’s candidate or that there was excessive voting.
The Commission further explained that the online result viewing portal experienced some difficulties on election day and became erratic at the point of collation, forcing its Information and Communications Technology (ICT) team to implement a workaround while working to resolve the issue.
“It was observed that while the result sheets were being successfully uploaded through the e-transmission system to the iRev portal in respect of the Senatorial and House of Representatives elections to their respective modules, the e-transmission was not processing and uploading the result sheets to the iRev portal in respect of the presidential election. The system was encountering glitches and was extremely slow.
“The 3rd respondent’s (INEC) technical team took every step to restore the application to functionality. Five application/patches updates were created and deployed immediately with the aim of fixing the error, INEC said in its court filing,” the Commission stated.
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