THE Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) has urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to begin move towards the use of electronic voting machines in future polls in the country.
Meanwhile, the Labour Party (LP) has re-affirmed Mrs. Ima-Nsa Adegoke as its sole governorship candidate for the February 25 governorship polls in Cross River State.
The call for electronic voting must have been prompted by the alleged under-aged voting in the just concluded governorship election in Adamawa State. The NBA condemned what it termed “legalising under-aged voting” which it said was quite visible during last Saturday’s polls in Adamawa.
Besides, the NBA asked the INEC to immediately prosecute some of its staff and ad hoc staff involved in last Saturday’s governorship election in Adamawa for allegedly disrupting the work of observers during the polls.
In a statement on the conduct of the polls entitled “A peaceful and orderly election”, the NBA however commended political stakeholders in Adamawa for their conduct before, during and after the election.
The statement which was signed by Dafe Akpedeye (SAN) and Festus Okoye, Chairman and Alternate Chairman of the NBA Election Working Group (EWG), the association, however, asked INEC to hasten the process of constituency delineation as most polling units were not manageable during the election due to large turnout of voters in such places.
The NBA also asked for an amendment to the 2010 Electoral Act to give electoral officers the power to shift polling units, pointing out that it observed that some polling units were still located in front of private residences instead of public places.
According to the statement, “there were cases of under-aged voting in some of the polling units visited. The voting by these groups of persons did not elicit any adverse reaction from some of the adults and eligible voters in the polling units thereby giving the phenomenon a stamp of acceptability.”
After a peaceful and orderly primaries conducted at the Cross River State LP Secretariat yesterday, Mrs. Adegoke who was unopposed emerged as the governorship flagbearer of the party.
In her acceptance speech, Adegoke thanked the party members for their support, assuring that come February 25, the party would stop at nothing to take over the Government House.
She expressed optimism that despite the abridgement of time by INEC, the party was fully prepared for the election.