To bolster transparency and efficiency in Nigeria’s electoral process, the Senate Committee on Electoral Matters has revealed groundbreaking proposals to reshape the nation’s voting procedures.
The committee, led by Senator Sharafadeen Alli, disclosed plans to make it compulsory for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to upload election results online.
Senator Alli made this known in an interview with Channels Television on Tuesday, November 21, 2023.
Currently, the law does not mandate this action, but the committee is actively working on amending legislation to enforce this critical step.
Senator Alli emphasized, “Under the current law, it is not mandatory for INEC to upload results; that is what the court has said. But as we are going forward, it is going to be mandatory.”
In addition to the mandate for online result uploading, the committee has put forward a comprehensive package of electoral reforms.
One key proposal aims to resolve all pre-election disputes before polling day. They also advocate for the conclusion of election petitions before swearing-in ceremonies occur, thereby potentially mitigating the need for off-cycle elections due to unresolved disputes.
Furthermore, the committee is advocating for a stringent timeframe within which election petitions must be filed and resolved to prevent delays that might lead to unnecessary political turmoil.
Acknowledging past technological setbacks, Senator Alli stressed the importance of enhancing election technology.
He referenced previous disappointments with the IReV system and pledged efforts to ensure that INEC makes substantial improvements in this regard.
He said the focus is on building reliable, efficient, and trustworthy technological systems to restore faith in the electoral process among the Nigerian populace.
According to him, if implemented, these proposed reforms can revolutionize Nigeria’s electoral landscape, fostering greater accountability, transparency, and public confidence in the electoral system.