Thousands of results from Saturday’s presidential election may be canceled by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) over alleged breach of the Electoral Act 2022.
The INEC chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, pledged on Tuesday that the commission will review election results in accordance with Section 65 of the Electoral Act.
Yakubu stated this after opposition political parties rejected results so far collated from the election over the failure of the commission to transmit the results electronically to a central portal known as the INEC Result Viewing Portal (IReV).
“We will do whatever we can within the confines of the law to review issues arising from the conduct of the elections, particularly by invoking our powers under Section 65 of the Electoral Act, to review where review is absolutely necessary,” the INEC boss said during a short media briefing at the ICC, Abuja, where results of the presidential election are being announced.
Section 65, subsection 1 of the Act instructs that: “(1) The decision of the returning officer shall be final on any question arising from or relating to— (a) unmarked ballot paper; (b) rejected ballot paper; and (c) declaration of scores of candidates and the return of a candidate:
“Provided that the Commission shall have the power within seven days to review the declaration and return where the Commission determines that the said declaration and return was not made voluntarily or was made contrary to the provisions of the law, regulations and guidelines, and manual for the election.”
Meanwhile, in the “Regulations and Guidelines for the Conduct of Elections, 2022” published by INEC ahead of the election, the commission mandated transmission of the election results to the IReV portal.
The regulation reads, “On completion of all the Polling Unit voting and results procedures, the Presiding Officer shall:
“(i) Electronically transmit or transfer the result of the Polling Unit, direct to the collation system as prescribed by the Commission.
“(ii) Use the BVAS to upload a scanned copy of the EC8A to the INEC Result Viewing Portal (IReV), as prescribed by the Commission.
“(iii) Take the BVAS and the original copy of each of the forms in tamper-evident envelope to the Registration Area/Ward Collation Officer, in the company of Security Agents. The Polling Agents may accompany the Presiding Officer to the RA/Ward Collation Centre.”