The Independent National Electoral Commission has described as illegal the directive of the All Progressives Congress to its supporters to copy the numbers of the ballot papers and take photographs after thumb printing in Saturday’s governorship election.
At an interactive section of political stakeholders ahead of the governorship election in Osogbo on Wednesday, Chairman of INEC, Prof. Attahiru Jega, said any attempt to snap ballot papers would be in violation of the Electoral Act.
During the final rally of the APC on Tuesday, its leadership encourage voters to ensure that they recorded the serial number of the ballot paper and use their phones to take a shot of the paper before living the poling unit.
The party believes that the action would be a proactive measure to checking any attempt to rig the election.
But Jega said , “To photograph the ballot paper will be a violation of the secrecy of the ballot. It is illegal and I will urge voters to disregard that directive.”
The Director General of the Aregbesola Campaign Organisation, Senator Sola Adeyeye, in his intervention at the meeting, rejected Jega’s explanations, saying a photograph of one’s ballot paper would not violate the secrecy of the ballot.
“For me, I will take a photograph of the ballot paper while casting my vote. It does not violate the secrecy of the ballot. I will like to show it to my grandchildren to see how I voted on the candidate. Voted for,” he said.
Responding to this, Jega cited Section 25(1,2,3,4) of the Electoral Act, noting that the sections forbid the act and violators risk a six month jail term if caught or N100,000 or both.