Tambuwal Punches, Says Senate lacks the Power to Act on Electronic Results Transmission

The decision of the House of Representatives to call on INEC to address the House and nation on its readiness by 2023 to deploy electronic transmission technology for our elections, seems to be a wise one
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NGF Vice Chairman and Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal

The decision of the Nigerian Senate on electronic transmission of election results has been ruled unlawful by Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State.

In a statement released on Thursday, the former Speaker of the House of Representatives stated that the power to organize and conduct elections was constitutionally delegated to the Independent  National Electoral Commission, (INEC), and that such constitutional responsibilities could not be delegated to the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) or the National Assembly.


The governor said,

“The decision of the Senate to subject INECs constitutional power to conduct elections to the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), and National Assembly is patently unconstitutional. For the avoidance of doubt, S.78 of the Constitution provides that “The Registration of voters and the conduct of elections shall be subject to the direction and supervision of Independent  National Electoral Commission”. In Third Schedule,  Part 1,F, S.15: INEC has power to organize, undertake and supervise all elections.

“The Constitution further provides that INEC operations shall not be subject to the direction of anybody or Authority.

“Unquestionably, the mode of election and transmission are critical parts of the conduct, supervise, undertaking and organization of elections in Nigeria. Of course the National Assembly has power to flesh out the legal framework but that has to be consistent with the Constitution.

“These constitutional powers have been solely and exclusively prescribed by the constitution to INEC, and cannot be shared with the NCC, or any other Authority, and certainly not a body unknown to the Constitution. The Senate decision to subject INECs constitutional power to conduct elections to NCC is consequently patently voify,  unconstitutional and unlawful”.

The Chairman of the PDP Governors Forum advised that the method of conducting elections and transmitting votes be left to INEC, which would monitor developments and choose the sort of technology to be used at each election to ensure free, fair, and credible elections. He added that INEC has the constitutional authority to create rules and guidelines to ensure that every vote counts, as outlined in the Electoral Act.

“If INEC determines that in any part of the country, electronic transmission is not possible, it would by regulations determine the appropriate thing to do” he added of the risk of network breakdown during result transmission.

He praised members of the green chambers for taking the initiative and initiating conversations with the electoral umpire about the necessary electoral reforms.

“The decision of the House of Representatives to call on INEC to address the House and nation on its readiness by 2023 to deploy electronic transmission technology for our elections, seems to be a wise one, I therefore commend the Leadership and Hon Members of the House for this decision and further admonish them to remain on the path of patriotism and deepening of our democracy by engendering and strengthening free and fair electoral process” he said.

Tambuwal urged INEC to exercise its constitutional authority to implement error-free technology, guided by the national interest and the desire of all Nigerians for credible, free, and fair elections.