Electronic voting likely from Anambra 2021 poll – INEC

Electronic voting may begin in Nigeria from gubernatorial poll in 2021, chairman of the Prof Mahmood Yakubu has stated.

Yakubu, who was speaking after a budget defence session before the Aisha Dukku- headed House Committee on Matters, told reporters about 40 companies have demonstrated e-voting to the commission.

He however said a decision was yet to be taken on the issue.

He said: “They have demonstrated. The next stage is for the commission to decide. So, it’s too early to tell you the cost or when the process will be concluded.

” But we’re determined we are going to deploy electronic voting machines, or electronic ballot machines in elections possibly in Governorship elections next year.”

He however declined to speak on what the country is to expect during his second term as INEC boss.

He simply said: “I have not been confirmed by the Senate yet, wait till I’m confirmed, then I will tell you what to expect from the Commission.”

There was however some bickering as the Commission made to present its 2021 budget proposal to the House Committee on Matters.

Immediately after Dukku delivered her opening address, Yakubu, made to commence the outlay of the 2021 proposal but Hon Solomon Bob (Rivers), under a point of order, noted it would be pointless and counter-productive to do such.

According to him, the performance is the real kernel of the matter.

He recalled throughout 2020, there was no oversight of the INEC due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said it was imperative to know how the appropriation given was utilised before other funds would be given.

But Dukku ruled him out of order, saying as the chairperson, she has the prerogative to structure the order of events.

But, after the presentation of the 2021 proposal, Rep. Uzoma Abonta (Abia PDP) and Rep. Yusuf Tajudeen (Kogi PDP) insisted on asking questions on the performance of the organisation.

They said if the INEC was not comfortable of discussing issues in the open, they should go into a closed door session.

Seeing that members were becoming visibly angry, the chairperson capitulated and all the commissioners, directors, the Permanent Secretary, journalists and aides to lawmakers in the committee room were asked to leave with only the INEC chairman and lawmakers left as they went into a closed-door session.

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