The Peoples Democratic Party caucus in the House of Representatives has said the Nigerian Communications Commissions official who appeared before the legislature should be prosecuted for lying to Nigerians as regards network coverage in connection to the electronic transmission of election results.
The leader of the PDP caucus in the Green Chamber, Kingsley Chinda, noted that the NCC delegate, Ubale Maska, who testified before the House on the adoption of electronic transmission of results, lied to Nigerians using the 2018 Technical Report of the NCC.
The report showed that only about “50 per cent of the polling units had 3G while 49 per cent had 2G network and below.”
Chinda argued that even the data on the NCC website showed that internet penetration had advanced substantially in Nigeria since 2018.
A statement from Chinda reads, “It was a show of shame on the floor of the House of Representatives on Friday, July 17, during the consideration of the Electoral Act Amendment Bill.
“The comedy of errors started by the House stopping INEC from appearing before the House to prevent the nation from learning the truth and allowing only NCC to appear to discuss issues on the ability or otherwise of INEC to handle the electronic transmission of votes.
“Officials of the NCC led by Executive Director, Ubale Maska, who represented the Executive Vice Chairman, Prof Umaru Garba Danbatta appeared and an oath was administered on them consistent with the Section 5 of the Legislative House (Powers and Privileges) Act 2017.
“While testifying before the House, on the adoption of electronic transmission of results from the units, Ubale Maska claimed that the 2018 Technical Report of the NCC showed that only about “50 per cent of the polling units had 3G while 49 per cent had 2G network and below.” His answers and body language clearly betrayed his intense desire to mislead the House and the nation.
“He cleverly sought to rely on 2018 data in 2021, when they knew or ought to know that internet penetration has advanced substantially in Nigeria since 2018.
“Indeed a perusal of NCC Website even today shows that the Nigerian National Broadband Plan 2020-2025 (P .33) says that by September 2019, the "Spread of 3G/LTE" had reached 74.2 per cent in Nigeria.
“The icing on the cake is the categorical declaration by INEC through Festus Okoye, their spokesman that INEC has the capacity to transmit election results from any part of the country, no matter the terrain has put the final nail on the coffin of the purveyors of the fallacy that it cannot be done. Electronic Transmission has recently been deployed by INEC in Edo, Ondo, Borno, Kaduna elections etc.
“For a witness to be sworn under Section 5 of the Legislative House (Powers and Privileges) Act 2017, then proceed to lie under oath and give false evidence to the House is an offence under Section 7 of the same Act.
“We call on the prosecuting authorities to immediately arrest the officials of the NCC, under Prof Danbatta and all those who procured Ubale Maska and other officials to lie under oath to be criminally investigated and were found culpable, be brought to justice by standing criminal trial.”