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Electronic transmission of result: Group gives NCC 14 days to retract statement

An NGO, Adopt a Goal for Development Initiative, has given the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) 14 days to retract its statement to the House of Representatives on low internet coverage of polling units in Nigeria.

The NGO in its letter received and stamped by the NCC on Tuesday, recalled that the House of Representatives invited the NCC to make a report while amending the Electoral Act.

The invitation was in the wake of the controversies on whether Nigeria has the internet reach and capacity to adopt electronic voting and electronic transmission of results in 2023.

The Executive Director, Adopt a Goal, Mr. Ariyo-Dare Atoye, said the 14-day ultimatum was necessary on the ground that the information provided by NCC contradicted the one it earlier gave to the public.

Atoye said that the NGO had instructed its legal representatives, led by Opatola Victor of FBI Legal, to activate all known legal processes if the NCC failed to comply with the request.It also recalled that on July 16, the duo of Mr. Adeleke Adewolu and Mr. Ubale Maska, with two others, appeared before the House of Representatives on behalf of the NCC.

“Adewolu and Maska appeared on behalf of your commission and stated under oath that “Nigeria has only 50.3 per cent 3G internet coverage of polling units in Nigeria for the transmission of election results.

“Your statement made under oath before the House of Representatives amounts to the gross misrepresentation of facts.

“The figures directly contradicts the 2020 data report from the Nigeria National Broad Band Plan at Paragraph 3, Page 21, issued by your Commission and signed by President Muhammadu Buhari, which puts 3G coverage at 75 per cent and 2G coverage at more than 89 per cent of Nigeria’s population. The organization said that the NCC statement made under oath contradicted the 2021 statistics of the 3G coverage report of MTN Nigeria Ltd., a major telecommunication company in Nigeria, which pegs its 3G coverage to 80.4 per cent of Nigeria’s population as disclosed at its annual general meeting on June 7.

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“All the above and more shows a deliberate attempt to misinform the House of Representatives and the Nigerian public.

“In view of the foregoing, we hereby demand that in 14 days, counting from the day of delivery of this letter, you on behalf of your representatives should retract your statement at the House of Representatives to the effect that Nigeria has only 50.3 per cent 3G coverage.

“We also demand a public apology letter to be issued to Nigerians, published in a National Daily of widespread coverage.

“While looking forward to your compliance with the simple demand of this letter, be further advised that we have our clients further instruction to activate all known legal processes against you and your representatives, should you fail to comply with the demands of this letter within 14 days,” the letter stated

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