Olanipekun, Ubani, Others back Electronic Voting for 2019 Polls
A former President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), on Wednesday urged the National Assembly to revisit the adoption of electronic voting for the 2019 general elections.
He said the combination of card readers and electronic voting would result in credible electoral process.
A former General Secretary of NBA, Deacon Dele Adesina (SAN), Mr. Lawal Pedro and NBA Vice President, Monday Ubani, adopted Olanipekun’s views.
They spoke at the 2018 Annual Lecture of the Ikeja branch of the National Association of Judiciary Correspondents (NAJUC).
The theme of the lecture was: “The Role of Judiciary, Media in the 2019 Election.”
The Chief Judge of Lagos State, Justice Opeyemi Oke, the state Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Kazeem Adeniji and the Resident Electoral Commissioner in the state, Mr. Sam Olumekun, were also at the forum.
The House of Representatives had on May 31 rejected electronic voting for the 2019 polls while considering the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill, 2018, the long title of which is, “A bill for an Act to amend the provisions of the Electoral Act, No. 6, 2010 to further improve the electoral process and for related matters.”
But Olanipekun, keynote speaker at the event, suggested that electronic voting would be an improvement on the card reader system introduced by the Prof. Attahiru Jega led Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in 2015.
He said: “Even with the deployment of the card reader in 2015, a lot of electoral malpractices were still identified. The least that Nigerians expect from INEC for the 2019 general elections is the deployment and use of electronic device, which would ensure substantial rig-proof elections.
“The combination of the use and activation of the card reader and electronic device will assure and reassure Nigerians that INEC is indeed and in fact, prepared for a free and fair election. INEC should not enter any caveat or give any alibi for not being able to deploy the electronic device, which is now in use almost worldwide.”
Justice Oke, who was represented by Justice Josephine Oyefeso, charged journalists to ensure fair and unbiased coverage of the polls as well as judicial events in order not to heat up the polity.
She said: “The media acts as a watchdog with a duty to provide unbiased, fair and informative coverage of the 2019 elections.
“In the last election, it played a vital role as a watchdog in the process of electioneering.”
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