Laolu Akande, spokesperson to former Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has expressed concerns over the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) failure to fulfill its promises, News About Nigeria reports.
He alluded that INEC eroded public trust for not electronically transmitting polling unit results in real-time during the presidential and National Assembly elections held on February 25.
Recall that before the election, INEC on several occasions told Nigerians of its commitment to transmit polling unit results to the INEC Result Viewing Portal (IReV) electronically and in real-time.
However, on the election day, INEC abandoned its promise and resorted to manual transmission of results, particularly for the presidential election.
This abrupt change by INEC, coupled with the emergence of Bola Tinubu as the president, fueled suspicions among some Nigerians who believed that the electoral process had been compromised.
However, the outcry did not convince the judges at the Presidential Election Petitions Court (PEPC) to overturn INEC’s decision, as they ruled that the electoral umpire had the discretion to determine the mode of transmission of election results.
In response to these developments, Akande who appeared on Channels Television’s Politics Today on September 8, 2023, asserted that INEC’s inability to electronically transmit results, significantly diminished the trust Nigerians had in the commission.
Akande stated, “INEC came out of this election as a damaged good. There is no doubt about that. INEC itself set up a standard. INEC determined the guidelines. INEC committed to the people of Nigeria that this is how we are going to declare the result of this election.”
He further highlighted that INEC’s reassuring statements had raised hopes from different quarters, and the commission’s failure to follow through not only damaged its integrity, but also raised questions about the legitimacy of the election winners.
“While it is true that INEC may not have broken the law, it has broken the trust of the Nigerian people. This poses a challenge to the political legitimacy of those declared as winners,” Akande revealed.