2019: INEC clarifies stance on smartphone ban
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says smartphones are only banned inside the voting cubicle rather than the entire polling unit areas as speculated.
The commission’s Chief Press Secretary, Rotimi Oyekanmi, made the declaration in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Abuja.
He stated this while reacting to the statement issued by the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Uche Secondus, condemning the decision of INEC to ban the use of smartphones at polling booths.
Mr Oyekanmi said Nigerians were fully aware of the challenge of vote-buying and selling that reared its ugly head in recent elections.
This, according to him, prompted stakeholders to devise innovative ways to tackle the problem.
“In consultation with other stakeholders, the Commission came up with new measures to solve the problem, one of which is to disallow the use of smartphones and other electronic devices in the voting cubicles on election day,” he said.
“In other words, INEC is not banning phones around the polling unit area, but the ban takes effect from the moment a prospective voter collects his or her ballot paper and enters into a voting cubicle to thumbprint and thereafter drop the folded ballot paper into the ballot box.
“After that, the voter can have access to his or her phone.”
Mr Secondus had, in a statement by his Media Adviser Ike Abonyi on Tuesday in Abuja, alleged that the decision was to perfect rigging formula for the ruling All Progressives (APC).
He alleged that the INEC decision was also a deliberate plan to kill means of gathering evidence against rigging arrangements.