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INEC: UK firms to handle polls results

Posted by From Chuks Okocha in Abuja on 2007/04/11 | Views: 717 |

INEC: UK firms to handle polls results


The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) yesterday said two British firms will manage the transmission of the results from the Presidential, Governorship, National and State Assembly elections slated for April 14 and 21.

• Foreign observers besiege commission

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) yesterday said two British firms will manage the transmission of the results from the Presidential, Governorship, National and State Assembly elections slated for April 14 and 21.

The British companies are Gilat and WITNESS.

This comes as election observer missions numbering over 200, at the weekend, besieged the INEC headquarters seeking accreditation to monitor and observe the elections.

According to a statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the INEC Chairman, Mr. Andy Ezeani, results would be released through the normal result sheets, while the electronic transmission was a mere back up, which would serve as a guarantee of the election results.

INEC, in the statement said a British firm 'Gilat', in association with another firm, 'WITNESS' will provide the technological backbone, stating that both firms have international experience and are noted for competence.

INEC stated further that the non-involvement of any Nigerian firms in the installation of ancillary equipment that would be used does not in any way amount to handing over control of any part of the election to any such firm, not to talk of individual.

The decision of the commission, according to a senior official, was informed by its desire to conduct a credible election that would be deemed fair by all Nigerians irrespective of their political leaning

In denying allegations that the commission has contracted out the release of elections to a candidate, the INEC statement said “the commission has engaged reputable firms to audit the transmitted election result to ensure transparency and accuracy of all results obtained."

In a related development, election observer missions numbering over 200, at the weekend, besieged the INEC headquarters seeking accreditation to monitor and observe the April 14 Governorship and House of Assembly elections and the April 21 Presidential and National Assembly elections.

The commission has, however, pegged the number of domestic observers to only 53. Also, government has sent the State Security Services (SSS) and the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) to trail the local observer mission to ascertain those funding them.

When THISDAY visited the INEC Headquarters located at the Zambezi Crescent Maitama Abuja, scores of the observer missions personnel were seen trying to get accreditation for the elections.

The observer members came from the United States, the International Foundation for Electoral System (IFES), USAID, the European Union Observer Mission, African Union, ECOWAS and Asiatic countries and the United Nations (UN).

INEC Director of Public Affairs, Olusegun Adeogun in a statement said the 53-observer mission whose names were published should come forward for accreditation. Several other domestic groups were seen loitering within INEC seeking to be screened for accreditation.

This came as SSS and the ICPC officials reportedly visited the offices of the various non-governmental organisations (NGOs) seeking to know their source of funding.

THISDAY gathered that the SSS and the ICPC were acting on complaints from the INEC Chairman, Prof. Maurice Iwu, who complained during a security meeting about the source of funding of some NGOs whose activities, the INEC Chairman alleged are destabilising in nature.

Iwu had also called on the European Union and other members of the Joint Basket Donors to withheld funding to some of the NGOs, as their activities are questionable.

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Comments (6)

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Joel Efiong(Calabar, Nigeria)says...

This is a great piece. The examination bodies should hire you as ICT consultant.

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Sunday Mbe(Kaduna, Kaduna, Nigeria)says...

ULIMASI means' GOD,THANK YOU' not THANK GOD.

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Sunday Mbe(Kaduna, Kaduna, Nigeria)says...

The name ULIMASI is from the UTUGWANG tribe in OBUDU local government area of CROSS RIVER STATE in Nigeria.

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Okfold(Sobe, Edo, Nigeria)says...

I want the meaning of female owan name Ekeke (Edo state)

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Toluwalase Samuel Olufemi(Ijebu, Ogun, Nigeria)says...

Authority belongs to God, once He decrees it is final and binding