‘We Must Use Card Readers To Stop Rigging’ -INEC Chairman, Professor Attahiru Jega insists

February 19, 2015 9:21 am

Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (),
Professor Attahiru Jega on Wednesday insisted that the commission will
not revert its decision to use Card Readers for the accreditation of
voters in the rescheduled .

Jega, who appeared before the 109-senate members for hours told them
that card readers will help check electoral fraud perpetrated by
politicians in connivance with INEC staff at polling booths.

The INEC boss, who quoted relevant sections of the 1999 constitution and
the Electoral Act 2010, argued that INEC did not go outside of the law
with the introduction of card readers for the purpose of voter
accreditation.

He said section 52 (2) of the electoral law only deals with voting and prohibits the use of electronic voting machines.

He explained that large percentage of voters from Adamawa, Yobe and
Borno state got their PVCs in time because Adamawa and Yobe states were
among the pilot states to which the commission began to distribute cards
across the country.

On reports of Permanent Voter Cards being snatched, stolen or bought
over by politicians, Jega said “anybody who buys or steals PVCs cannot
use it for election and it is therefore useless to do so.”

He said 3000 PVCs were recently snatched from INEC staff in Ebonyi state.

On the possibilities of further postponement of the elections, Jega said
doing so will be unconstitutional as the time limit provided by law
will elapse in April.

Jega maintained that no patriotic Nigerian should ever contemplate any
further delay in the elections adding that Card Readers don’t violate
Electoral law.

The INEC chairman however, admitted that between 800,000 to 1 million
PVCs were yet to be produced but assured that they are in the process of
production and will soon be distributed to voters.

When pressed further by senators that if by the expiration of the six
weeks the service chiefs demand for further delaying of the polls, what
he and the commission will do, Jega said he could not speak for the
service chiefs as such matters of security are not within the purview of
INEC.as an electoral body.

Jega was summoned by the senate on Tuesday after a motion on the matter
was moved by senate leader Victor Ndoma-Egba who alleged that the use of
card readers violate the electoral law.

Director General of the Goodluck Jonathan Campaign organisation Ahmadu
Ali had requested that the card reader be dumped in the election.

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