An indigenous ICT firm, Hephzibah Integrated Technologies Ltd said it has developed an application that can monitor the 2019 general elections in the 120,000 polling units across the country according to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) guidelines, eliminate irregularities and rigging during and after the voting process.
Managing Director/CEO of Hephzibah Integrated Technologies Ltd, Engr. Clement Obomighe, who disclosed this while unveiling the App at a media briefing in Kaduna on Thursday, explained that the App works with any android or IOS phone and can transmit information and data as they are happening from across the country, noting that where there is internet challenge it will record, store and send automatically as soon as internet is available.
He said that they set up a system that helps to generate report format, “reports produced by observers or party agents can be substantiated with evidence which can serve as forensic evidence in courts. Different accurate statistical facts can be gotten from a simple query of data base. Party agents or observers presence and efforts can be monitored as the app is geo locationally locked and cannot be used in another polling unit.
“The degree of freeness and fairness of the election can be determined as the app works according to INEC guidelines and where the guideline is not followed or there are irregularities the app will show. Also in the transmission of results, where there are differences between the results declared in the polling units and that of the ward or other level an alert will be sent showing the disparity. The app has two interfaces; mobile interface and administrative interface,” he said.
The graduate of electrical electronics engineering from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife started Hephzibah in 1990 and has been recognized for his works by COREN and other engineering bodies worldwide. He explained that his company has been seeking active ways to develop Apps to support government policies, hence they decided to create definite report format. “We have given government several suggestions on how to make things better and embrace various ideas and innovations we have presented to them. They are gradually embracing some ideas.
“We decided to present the App to Nigerians so that they can see it. We are not oblivious of the fact that we may be behind time ahead of the general elections, but we are optimistic that it will help. The system was developed from what was mooted to us by an observer group which approached us. For some reasons they chickened out and we went through sponsoring it from the scratch.
“We noticed that in the past, capturing activities during elections was haphazard. This app will make it well managed, well captured. We had developed it according to 2015 INEC order of activities. When the new INEC chairman came and changed the order, we changed it again and later went back to the drawing board to make it flexible. Our application seeks to track order of activity, which before now, wasn’t done.
“There is a process, if missed it should be captured by the election monitors, polling unit by pilling unit. Even after the polling unit, at the collation centre there are procedures which must be followed. When procedures are not followed, it should be captured by the monitors. Not following procedures, gives room for rigging. Our application cannot enforce the law, but can expose breach of the law.
He said they charge based on subscription, adding that trainings can be done online or through manuals in Kaduna or anywhere in the country. “It can work with any Android or IOS but if you want us to recommend, we will recommend a basic smart phone, which is about N16,000 in the market. The App is very affordable at N3,000 per polling unit. If Kaduna state has 4,000 polling units, at N3,000 it will amount to just N12 million. We also give full 100 per cent money back guarantee. We are sure of the application, any money paid on this will be kept in safety till our clients use it and conform results,” he added.
On why INEC has not adopted their technology, he said, “we went to INEC and told them to use the App. We told them to authenticate it and they said they couldn’t because they don’t know if we are sponsored by a political party. Our App is not to spite INEC we developed it to solve some challenges in our electoral system.
He assured potential subscribers that they have paid for unlimited storage with Amazon and another company. “We have signed agreement with cloud storage which increases, we have paid upfront for that, we will be monitoring the data, if we notice any increase, we will increase database size. But if INEC bans use of smart phones, it can’t work.”