INEC Gives First Assessment of Presidential, National Assembly Elections

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it is satisfied with the electoral process as the polls closed across the country for the presidential and National Assembly elections.

There have been reports of violence, ballot box destruction, delay in polls opening in many states, and card reader malfunction.

A national commissioner of the commission, Festus Okoye, gave INEC’s impression of the polls at a briefing of journalists in Abuja.

“As at this moment, INEC is generally satisfied with the process and the procedures for the conduct of this present election, notwithstanding the challenges relating to the commencement of polls in some polling units.”

Despite the delay or malfunctioning of the Smart Card Readers, the commission said accreditation for voting can only be done as stated in its guideline.

According to him, the regulations and guidelines of the commission view the refusal to use the SCR for the purposes of accreditation as negligent conduct.

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“The smart card reader is mandatory, therefore no staff of the commission or any ad hoc staff of the commission is permitted in whatever guise to deliberately refuse to use the smart card reader for the conduct of the election” he said.

“And any of them that refuses to use the smart card reader or deliberately violated the use of the smart card reader is subject to prosecution in accordance with the regulations and guidelines of the commission and the Electoral Act.”

On reports of violence which the commission confirmed to have received from some states, Mr Okoye said it had asked its resident electoral commissioners (RECs) to submit first hand reports.

“We have have asked the REC and officials of the commission on ground to submit their first hand reports in relation to some of these incidents.

“We are still receiving reports relating to incidents in some states of the federation but we have received reports on incidents in Akuku Toru and Bonny island of Rivers state,” he said.

On Rivers, INEC said so long as the commission could not deploy in these areas, the implication was that polls did not open in these areas and the commission would hold consultations with relevant authorities and with the RECs in relation to these areas.

He said INEC will announce when polls will take place in these areas especially as regards to the House of Representatives and Senatorial elections.

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