The Independent National Electoral Commission on Thursday said may move sensitive materials from the Central Bank of Nigeria to a different location.
INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, stated this at a consultative meeting with the media in Abuja, assuring that the commission would employ both the manual and electronic methods in the transmission of the 2023 elections results.
During the meeting, journalists raised concerns about the political ambition and partisanship of the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele.
It was at this point Yakubu hinted that the commission might be forced to find another arrangement for the safekeeping of its sensitive materials.
Noting that the CBN is responsible for the storage and movement of sensitive materials, Yakubu said the electoral body never doubted the capacity of the CBN to carry out that responsibility.
“But I understand the context in which the question is asked. But you should also understand the context in which events are unfolding. As we speak, our director, litigation and prosecution are in court,” he said.
“There is a case in court. We have been invited to state our own side of the story. We usually refrain from talking about such issues because there is essentially subjudice.
“But we are already started talking about what alternatives are available to us in case we need to change the arrangement for the handling of sensitive materials. We have started thinking about it. We are aware of the situation. We will watch the situation. We still have 9 months before the next general elections.
“Things may be addressed before then. I want to assure you that we will not jeopardize the conduct of the election by creating a misconception around the situation in the process,” he added.
Yakubu also said that INEC would partner with the Economic Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) to check the spending of political parties during the 2023 election.
The INEC boss further said that the provision of the Electoral Act 2022 in the management of results remained basically manual, having to do with the recording of results on forms and their delivery to various levels of collation until declaration and returns are made.
Noting that the law still provides for e-transmission of results, Yakubu made reference to Section 64 of the Electoral Act, which stipulates that electronic transmission of results would only be done in the event of a dispute during the course of collation.