Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto says that the Senate has voided the 2023 elections by giving INEC’s constitutional powers to Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC).
In a statement issued on Thursday, Mr Tambuwal said the senators’ move was “patently void and unlawful.”
The majority of the senators on Thursday empowered the NCC and the National Assembly to determine the electronic transmission of election results.
Peoples Gazette reported that 52 (APC) senators voted to grant the powers to the NCC and the national assembly, while 28 (PDP senators) voted against it. Twenty-eight senators were absent during the voting process.
This amended act will deny INEC the power to transmit election results electronically, giving NCC the power to decide.
However, Mr Tambuwal said, “The decision of the Senate to subject INECs constitutional power to conduct elections to the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), and National Assembly is patently unconstitutional. For the avoidance of doubt, S.78 of the Constitution provides that ‘The registration of voters and the conduct of elections shall be subject to the direction and supervision of Independent National Electoral Commission.'”
The governor added, “In Third Schedule, Part 1, F, S.15: INEC has power to organise, undertake and supervise all elections. The Constitution further provides that INEC operations shall not be subject to the direction of anybody or authority.”
He argued that INEC’s exclusive powers as prescribed by the constitution could not be shared with NCC or any other body.
The NCC is an agency under the direct supervision of the terror-linked Isa Pantami, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, who has over time shown complete control of the agency using it to suppress free speech.
With the amendment, the fate of credible elections in Nigeria now rests with politicians such as senators and Mr Pantami, whose continued role in public office continues to generate controversy.