Amend Electoral Act 2022 to give legal teeth to IReV – Group

“If we cannot have electronic voting and transmission of results, we should at least have something similar to what is obtainable in some advanced countries to achieve credible election in Nigeria,”

Amend electoral act 2022 to give legal teeth to irev - groupPeering Advocacy and Advancement Centre in Africa,(PAACA), a Non-Governmental Organisation, has called for the amendment of the Electoral Act 2022 to give legal teeth to the IReV.

The Executive Director of PAACA, Chief Ezenwa Nwagu, made the call during a town hall meeting organised by the group for stakeholders in Port Harcourt.

The INEC Result Viewing (IReV) is an online portal, where polling unit-level results are uploaded directly from the polling unit, transmitted and available for public monitoring.

2023 Presidential Elections: Would Nigerians get the Justice they deserve?

Nwagu said that the townhall meeting was important to inform and educate major stakeholders to understand the legal regime with which elections are conducted, to ensure its application and implementation.

He called for the removal of legislative bottlenecks that would work against the embrace of technology in electoral process.

“Only adequate and informed knowledge of Nigeria’s electoral reforms by all citizens and  stakeholders will guarantee progressive and credible elections in the country.

“It is worrying that people do not know the details in the Electoral Act.

“The legal regime by which elections are conducted are hardly known. If anyone is to be a Christian he must have a Bible.

“The cost of electricity and garri in the market is embedded in how much we are interested in our leadership recruitment process.

“And the law that guides how that is done is embedded in the Electoral Act.

“I am concerned that if stakeholders do not get acquainted with the electoral reforms, we will not make a quick progress in our electoral process and there is need for quick progress because our country is hungry and starving for progress and the only way that can happen is through knowledge.

“Knowledge of the law will empower individuals to take the right actions on issues.

“We need to show more interest in politicians, their political parties and their candidates because everything they do robs off on the larger society negatively or positively.

“I think we should be nuanced about the full embrace of technology because there is no country that as at today is using technology fullly for elections, even America uses bimodal, which is electronic and manual.

“We should remove all legislative bottlenecks that will not allow us to embrace it, we should remove it from our laws so that we can incrementally embrace it.

“Leveraging of technology to enhance electoral integrity as well as increased voter education and civic engagement,” he said.

Nwagu urged the public to be interested in how electoral candidates were selected in their respective parties during the primary election.

He said that primary election should be the most important election, urging security agents, electoral body, civil society groups, the media and public to take responsibility in the process that produces leaders in the country.

The Chairman of Nigerian Union of Journalists in Rivers, Mr Stanley Job, advocated for the adoption of electronic voting and transmission of results.

Job urged stakeholders to adopt a reform that would enable the country to have free and credible elections.

“If we cannot have electronic voting and transmission of results, we should at least have something similar to what is obtainable in some advanced countries to achieve credible election in Nigeria,” he said.