Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, the Deputy Senate President, has stated that the Senate is not opposed to the electronic transmission of election results, despite the fact that 52 senators from the All Progressives Congress voted against it.
Responding to journalists’ questions after delivering a keynote address titled “Nigeria’s Democratic Experience Since 1999: The Imperative of Reforming The Electoral Process” at Benson Idahosa University’s 16th convocation ceremony on Friday July 16, Omo-Agege said the country cannot implement electronic transmission of election results with only 43% internet coverage.
“The 9th Senate is fully in support of electronic voting and transmission of results.
“If we adopt electronic transmission for the 43 per cent, what happens to the rest 57 per cent?
“The country has to wait for the approval of the Nigerian Communications Commission(NCC) to adopt electronic transmission of the result.”
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As he commented on electoral reforms, Omo-Agege stated that the issue with Nigerian elections is the “judicialization of electoral process.” He also stated that electoral offences committed by officials of the Electoral Management Bodies (EMBs), officials of political parties, candidates, and voters must be addressed to ensure the sanctity of the nation’s electoral process.
He went on to say that he does not doubt the role of the courts because electoral fairness and the adjudicatory process are acknowledged as integral aspects of the electoral process.
The Deputy Senate President added;
“The Courts rather than members of the political parties or the electorate as the case may be, determine winners of party primaries and elections even when the evidence runs to the contrary. This is eroding citizens’ confidence in the electoral process.
“However, the widespread perception that the judiciary lacks independence from the executive and that people pay for judicial outcomes that advance their personal and group interests raises a question mark about the legitimacy of some elected public officials.