From Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja

House of Representatives is to probe the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) over the implementation of the Electoral Act  2022 as well as the process in the ongoing voter’s registration exercise.

It also resolved to probe alleged constraints encountered by the commission on timely procurement and production of voter’s cards for the 2023 general elections.

The Green chamber is also to interrogate the voting  process from accreditation to transmission of results, so as  to “ascertain the existence of a central INEC server, the transmission of results from polling units, the existence of e-collation officers and the ability to manipulate voting results at that level, ability or not to manipulate the BVAS machine.”

This followed the adoption of a motion by Mark Gbillah calling  for an investigation into “the accountability of  INEC electoral process

including its Interpretation and Implementation of the Electoral Act, 2022.”

Consequently, the House mandated its Committee on Electoral Matters to undertake the probe and report back in eight weeks for further legislative actions.

The committee in the course of its assignment is expected to ascertain a proper interpretation of  section 115(d) and other provisions of the 2022 Electoral Act by the electoral body and its key officials.

It is also to determine whether or not any infraction had been committed by the Resident Electoral Commissioner( REC) in charge of Akwa Ibom State, and any other INEC staff in their interpretation of the Electoral Act.

The committee is equally expected to probe “existing due process in decision making by INEC with regards to guidelines, regulations and whether any of such decisions conflict with the provisions of the Act.”

Gbillah, in his motion, said there were concerns about alleged short comings in the conduct of the recent off-season elections in Ekiti and Osun State.

The lawmaker said there were fears about the ability of the commission “ to conduct free and fair elections in the forthcoming 2023 elections when voting will be required to take place simultaneously across the country.”

He said some of the concerns include: “INEC insistence on terminating the ongoing voters registration exercise regardless of the millions of Nigerians who will be disenfranchised citing the need to produce voters cards on time; allegations that results from polling units are not actually transmitted directly to INEC’S central server in Abuja as claimed by INEC but are collated on computer’s bye-collation officers at the ward levels across the country , who are the ones who transmit the results from their systems to the central server and are able to manipulate the votes cast for each candidate at that level but not the number of accredited voters.

“Other concerns about INEC lack of entrenched due process in decision making which sees it make and change guidelines and regulations arbitrarily to the benefit of certain political parties and sometimes in conflict with provisions of the 2022 Electoral Act.”

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Source: news