Greetings from the burghal garden burghal of Port Harcourt – able-bodied at the time of autograph this allotment anyway. I came to appear the 4th Memorial Emmanuel Chinwenwo Aguma, SAN, KSC Lecture/Public Altercation (he is the actual accomplished Attorney-General of Rivers State, who abutting the saints boastful on August 10, 2018 – May his body abide to blow in the bust of the Lord. Amen). The accident took abode at the NBA House, Port Harcourt. As we collection from the airport to town, the alley looked familiar, but, somehow looked different. It afresh dawned on me that, aback I visited Port Harcourt aftermost year, the alley had been widened and upgraded. And, aback we accustomed at G.R.A., I could about recognise the place. Every alley we anesthetized through had additionally been anew done, complete with pavements and drainage. This is the affectionate of development which Nigerians ache for in every allotment of every State, throughout the country – infrastructural development.
A Abrupt Summary of the Lecture
The affair of the Lecture was actual contemporary and apt -“Implication of Cyberbanking Chiral of After-effects on Acclamation Petitions”; and castigation truly, my apprehensive self, played the role of Moderator for the two actual able Panel Discussants, Hon.
Justice Frank Onyiri of the Customary Cloister of Appeal, Rivers State, who has served as a affiliate of the National and State Houses of Assembly Acclamation Abode Tribunal, Oyo State in 2019, and is currently confined as the Chairman, Local Government Acclamation Appeal Tribunal, Rivers State; and Mr Dike Udenna Okoronkwo, aka Dike Udenna, a acknowledged practitioner and Head of Chambers of Bridgestone Law Attorneys, based in Port Harcourt.
As the Moderator, I alien the acclaimed Section 52(2) of the Balloter Act 2010 (EA), and gave a abrupt overview of its history, from the absolute prohibition of cyberbanking voting machines in the 2010 version, to the 2015 alteration which acceptable voting to be done in accordance with the action bent by INEC. I submitted that admitting it was not actually stated, as the law anon stands, the use of cyberbanking voting machines, or cyberbanking voting or cyberbanking chiral of after-effects or chiral voting, are all methods which can be bent and active by INEC to conduct elections, and there is actually annihilation preventing INEC from transmitting after-effects electronically. Appear to anticipate of it, it is the Senate that is actually aggravating to annoyance INEC aback to the aphotic ages and annul the advance of the voting system, by unconstitutionally insisting that the closing seeks its approval and that of the NCC, afore actuality acceptable to abode acclamation after-effects electronically. Assuming that it was alike built-in to seek approval from a third affair (which it actually is not), I alike admiration what gives the Senate the adequacy to be the ones to accept cyberbanking chiral of results? Are they engineering experts?
Hon. Justice Onyiri
It was sad to see that there is a accord that Nigeria is actively amiss in infrastructure, and Justice Onyiri began his altercation by advertence this fact. However, I abide that there is still abounding time afore 2023, for NCC and the assorted networks to actual any chiral issues, if they are actually defective (though INEC has rebutted this claim).
Justice Onyiri afresh remarked that the accomplished balloter action should be electronic, and not aloof a allotment of it. He was of the assessment that you cannot accept chiral aback up processes, that is, that inputs cannot be chiral and afresh chiral of results, electronic. That holistically, the action charge be digital, as the ascribe into the arrangement acutely bears on the achievement – actually if it is debris in, it will actually be debris out!
On the affair of the Senate attempting to appoint itself and NCC into the acclamation process, aback Section 78 of the Constitution is actually bright on the role of INEC, Justice Onyiri assured that all that is required, is for INEC to accommodate to the NCC standard; that INEC actually did not charge NCC’s permission or that of the Senate, to go advanced with cyberbanking chiral of results. As for the Senate, Justice Onyiri submitted that all that is appropriate of them, is to put in abode a acceptable aldermanic framework, instead of aggravating to bastard themselves into the process.
Dike Udenna batten from an acutely applied point of view, as a admonition who has handled several acclamation petitions. He fabricated some absorbing submissions. He started off on the apriorism that the allowance are ample adjoin a Petitioner in an acclamation petition, because there is a anticipation and action of the EA, that an acclamation is appropriately conducted by INEC, until such anticipation is rebutted by the Petitioner. He submitted that cyberbanking chiral of after-effects would added than go a continued way, to not alone to assert the candor of an election, but abate the ahead about insurmountable accountability on the Petitioner, of accepting to prove the Petition, for several reasons; including the actuality that, because Petitioners are accustomed a actual bound bulk of time to appraise their assemblage (10-14 canicule or so; one cloister day acutely not actuality the abounding 24 hours, but maybe 2-4 hours), and the cardinal of assemblage sometimes active into over a hundred, aback usually, assemblage charge appear from every polling assemblage that is said to accept had a problem, as able-bodied as additionally presenting polling agents to testify; it is about an absurd assignment for Petitioners to prove their cases aural the appointed time, and invariably, the Tribunal will aphorism that the Petitioner accepting bootless to acquittal the requisite apocalyptic accountability to prove their petitions, the Abode automatically fails. He submitted that, the cyberbanking chiral of after-effects would abetment in no baby measure, to accomplish an acclamation abode a added akin arena acreage for both the Petitioner and Respondent, as the after-effects would accept been uploaded electronically from source, afterwards the charge for hundreds of assemblage to appear and testify, thereby authoritative the case possibly added bright cut, and giving the Petitioner a bigger chance, if indeed, such Petitioner has a able case.
Dike Udenna talked about how after-effects were afflicted during their chiral transmission, from the polling assemblage to the INEC Collation Centre. How Petitioners, who by advantage of the after-effects declared at the polling units, had won elections, but by the time there is a able acknowledgment of after-effects by the Returning Officer, to the annoyance of the Petitioner, the abstracts magically change and the adversary who absent the acclamation is declared the winner; and because of some of the above obstacles which abide in proving the acclamation petition, the adversary who was the also-ran in the election, is affidavit in as the winner. He submitted that, the convenance of unscrupulously alteration after-effects amid the polling assemblage and the final declaration, would be abundantly bargain if the after-effects are electronically transmitted, abnormally in the case of transmitting after-effects from abroad or aloof places like littoral areas, aback to town.
Several added issues were raised, like that of INEC admiral actuality fabricated to acknowledge the amiss after-effects beneath duress. Dike Udenna gave the archetype of a Returning Officer who complained that he was affected assurance a apocryphal aftereffect sheet, but was too abashed to appear and accord affirmation at the Tribunal, because he acquainted that his activity and that of his ancestors would be in crisis if he did so – that those who could abuse and force him to assurance a affected document, would be able to locate his home calmly and accord with him (and his family) decisively, if he testified adjoin them. This resulted in the Tribunal adhering actually no weight to the aftereffect sheet, aback the maker of the affidavit did not affirm afore it. The cyberbanking transmitted results, would assuredly appear in acutely accessible in these blazon of situations, as the transmitted after-effects not alone allege for themselves, but would approve as accurate or accuse as false, the abstracts in aftereffect sheets.
The archetype acclimated by Dike Udenna, anon brought to apperception the case of Senator Rochas Okorocha’s acclamation in Imo State, in which the Returning Officer had appear that he had been kidnapped and affected to acknowledge Rochas Okorocha as the champ of the election. Shockingly, Senator Okorocha was still accustomed his affidavit of return, and is appropriately sitting in the Senate Chamber as the appropriately adopted Senator apery his constituency!
Dike Udenna additionally commented on the deployment of cyberbanking chiral of results, to aphorism out the accident of non-INEC parties like the Police, appointment acclamation after-effects as affirmation to the Acclamation Abode Tribunals, as again, in the case of the Imo State Gubernatorial election, area the after-effects tendered by the Police to the Tribunal, was what was acclimated to jet the applicant who came fourth in the election, Senator Achievement Uzodinma, to the position of the winner. Again, in the accident that the Police tendered adverse after-effects (I still accept questions as to whether the Police is the able affair to breakable acclamation results), the electronically transmitted after-effects would be a agency to ascertain the accuracy of those added after-effects so tendered.
All in all, those of us who were in appearance at the Lecture, larboard with a bigger compassionate of why Politicians, abnormally those already sitting in constituent positions, are against to the cyberbanking chiral of results, and why they are blessed to booty their diplomacy at the Acclamation Abode Tribunal and Cloister as Respondents. Apart from it actuality easier for Politicians to rig elections if the voting arrangement is manual, our Acclamation Abode arrangement seems to favour Respondents – about a win-win bearings for them.
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What then, is the aberration amid our National Assembly (NASS) associates and a aggressive dictatorship, in agreement of both of them aggravating to bolster themselves in their positions? None. It is alone the adjustment that differs. While the aggressive employs arduous animal force to abide in government, our NASS associates are accomplishing so by manipulating the laws to clothing their purpose, while aggravating to acquaint abortive Bills to gag those who accuse about their base activities.
On my way to the airport afterwards the programme, I visited the armpit of the Nigerian Law School, Rivers State Campus – the Dr Nabo Graham-Douglas, SAN Complex on Abacha Alley by Agip alliance and Ikwerre Road; and additionally the armpit for the Law School Staff Quarters by Presidential Hotel, G.R.A. I additionally visited the Emmanuel Chinwenwo Aguma Judges’ Quarters, in honour of the backward Attorney-General on Tombia Extension, erected by the Rivers State Government. The Estate is actually arresting – there are at atomic 20 duplexes in the Estate with able-bodied manicured lawns, complete with tennis and basketball courts, and added avant-garde conveniences. Judges who autonomous for banknote payments in lieu of the accommodation, were accustomed N150 actor each. I am admiring that Judges in Rivers State, are actuality accepted and taken affliction of. I achievement added States will booty a cue from Lagos and Rivers State, and do the aforementioned for their Judges.
What a Country!
Resident Doctors are paid N5,000 a ages hazard allowance, and a cogent cardinal of Doctors did die aftermost year due to the Covid-19 hazard. Yet, Senators and Associates of the House of Representatives are paid N303,960 and N297,781 account or thereabouts, for their Bi-weekly allowance. It seems that, in Nigeria, Legislators account the ‘Dailies’ and befitting up with accepted affairs, is added important than the lives of Doctors and their role as activity savers! (Even admitting the aftereffect of their ardent bi-weekly reading, with the will of the bodies acutely independent in those newspapers, is not necessarily their antecedence or reflected in their law making). And, indirectly, Legislators account newspapers additionally seems added important to the Nigerian Government than the lives of Nigerians, because aback there is a strike, those with burning medical needs run the accident of death, if they don’t accept the abundant bare absorption and treatment. A absurd and grossly caitiff system, that needs to be addressed as a amount of urgency. Food for thought!
How To Write A Summary Of A Lecture – How To Write A Summary Of A Lecture
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