INEC: Non-use of card readers may lead to polls cancellation

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says the non-use of card readers may lead to cancellation of elections.

The commission said this four days to the governorship and state assembly elections.

It denied allegations that it was selective in the use of smart card readers in the presidential and national assembly elections.

Some persons and groups including the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had alleged the commission did not enforce the use of card readers in some states during the presidential election.

There have also been speculations that INEC will not ensure strict compliance with the card readers during the governorship and state assemblies elections.

But in a statement issued on Tuesday, Festus Okoye, INEC director of voter education and publicity, described the claims as “absolutely false and without any basis whatsoever.”

Okoye said the use of the smart card reader in the elections is not only mandatory but its deliberate non-use attracts possible prosecution of erring officials.

“This is in addition to the voiding of any result emanating from such units or areas as was done in the Presidential and National Assembly elections of February 23. 2019,” he said.

“The general public and all officials engaged for the elections are hereby informed that the Commission is not reconsidering the use of these Smart Card Readers which has greatly improved the credibility of our elections and instilled a high level of public trust in them.

“To clear any doubt or ambiguity, we wish to state that the deployment and mandatory use Smart Card Readers in Saturday’s elections will not only be uniform but also universal and the provisions of the Regulations and Guidelines will be strictly and vigorously enforced. All Stakeholders are to note and be guided accordingly please.”