The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has restricted the use of smart phones around polling unit areas, from the moment a prospective voter entered voting cubicle to cast his or her vote.

The Chief Press Secretary to INEC Chairman, Rotimi Oyekanmi, made the declaration in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Abuja.

He stated this while reacting to the statement by the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Uche Secondus, condemning the decision of INEC to ban the use of smart phones at polling booths.

Secondus had, in a statement on Tuesday alleged that the decision was to perfect rigging formular for the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

He had alleged that the INEC decision was also a deliberate plan to kill means of gathering evidence against rigging arrangements.

Reacting, Oyekanmi said that Nigerians were fully aware of the challenge of vote-buying and selling that reared its ugly head in recent elections.

“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 smart phones and other electronic devices in the voting cubicles on election day.

“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 voting cubicle to thumb print and thereafter drop the folded ballot paper into the ballot box.

“After that, the voter can have access to his or her phone.”

Oyekanmi urged Nigerians to disregard any attempt by any individual or group to politicise what was purely a preventive measure.

Fatimah Usman-Aliyu, Pro-Bono Partner