…justifies redeployment of its ICT director before 2023 elections

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has assured Nigerians that its Result Viewing Portal (IReV) would be functional during the governorship and state assembly elections on March 18.

INEC’s National Commissioner in charge of Voter Education, Festus Okoye, gave the assurance Sunday evening while speaking on Channels TV’s programme “Sunday Politics”.

INEC had failed to upload results of the February 25 presidential and National Assembly elections on its portal directly from the polling units in real time despite several assurances that it would, casting doubts on the commission’s sincerity as well as the reliability of the final results it announced to Nigerians. Opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and Labour Party (LP) and their presidential candidates have also rejected the outcome of the presidential election and approached the Presidential Election Court (PEC) which has granted them leave to examine INEC’s election materials used for the poll.

But speaking on Sunday, Okoye blamed INEC’s inability to transmit polling units results directly to its portal in real time as it promised before the elections to “technical glitches”.

Channelstv.com reports Okoye as saying the glitches had been rectified ahead of the March 18 governorship and state assembly elections and that IReV would be functional during the elections.

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INEC had also transferred its director in charge of Information Communication Technology (ICT), Chidi Nwafor, a few months before the 2023 general elections, which became an issue following the commission’s failure to upload the poll results from the polling units to its portal in real time. Many had the commission missed Nwafor’s expertise.

Okoye, however, insisted that the commission was built in a way that no department was wrapped around an individual.

“The present leadership of the commission wants to build a professional organisation that is not wrapped around one individual. The individual (Nwafor) mentioned is a very good friend of mine; he is a director in the commission and any director can be posted out or to go and become an administrative secretary,” Okoye said.

“Now the time we readjusted list of administrative secretaries was the time the commission was slightly panicky on whether we were going to have new resident electoral commissioners and we were preparing for elections.

“So, the commission decided in its wisdom that we are going to post our best hands to the various states as administrative secretaries to go and prepare the states for the purposes of election and that was exactly what the commission did.

“We have a department in charge of ICT and the Chidi I know tried to build a department that can stand on its own whether he is there on not and that is the same thing with every department,” he said.