By Mukwuzi Joseph
Governor of Sokoto State, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal, has said that 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.
Tambuwal, who is a former Speaker of the House of Representatives, said INEC’s constitutional power to conduct and manage elections should not be shared with any institution.
“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’.” Tambuwal said in a statement released on Thursday, July 15.
“In the Third Schedule, Part 1,F, S.15: INEC has the 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.”
Tambuwal said that the mode of election and transmission of results were critical parts of the conduct and supervision of elections in Nigeria and that even if the National Assembly were to get involved it should be in line with the constitution.
“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.”
Tambuwal said that the senate’s decision to subject INECs constitutional power to conduct elections to NCC was void, unconstitutional and unlawful.
“We had earlier counselled that that the mode of conducting elections and in particular the transmission of votes be left with INEC who would monitor developments and determine at every election the type of technology to be deployed to ensure free, fair and credible elections.
“INEC also has constitutional power backed by the Electoral Act to make rules and guidelines to ensure that every vote is counted and that every vote counts.
“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.”
“In any case, I still believe that the best option is to leave this matter in the hands of INEC.
“We admonish INEC to be solely guided by the National interest and the desire of all Nigerians for a credible, free and fair elections in using its constitutional powers and in the deployment of error free technology.”