LAOLU Akande, has revealed that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), lost the faith of Nigerians due to its inability to electronically transmit the results of the presidential and National Assembly elections.
When it came to the presidential and National Assembly elections, INEC did not submit polling unit results to the INEC Result Viewing Portal (IReV), despite frequently stating that it would in the months leading up to the February 2023 election.
The Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal (PEPT) decided that the electoral umpire is free to choose how to broadcast election results in spite of complaints from Nigerians.
Following the development, Akande stated that Nigerians now have less faith in INEC because of its failure to electronically transmit results.
“It is important to establish something we cannot basically run away from. 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. In fact, the chairman of INEC went abroad and said, ‘What we are going to do is that this results, when we get it, we would put it on IReV in real-time’,” he said on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Friday.
According to him, the comment heightened people’s trust in the electoral umpire.
“But guess what? When it was time for INEC to fulfill its guidelines – for certain reasons we could talk about that- INEC failed to do what it said it would do. Now it is right that if you look at the law, and I think the judges also affirmed, INEC has not really broken the law. But INEC has broken the trust of the Nigerian people,” he added.
The development, he argued, not only affects INEC’s integrity, it raises legitimacy questions for those who won the elections.
“It is a problem for political legitimacy for people who came out of that system,” the former VP aide said.
“So, there is a lot of cynicism, there is a lot of distrust [about those declared winners]. INEC is responsible for that,” he noted.