The Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room, has called for a thorough investigation into incidents of pre-filled results sheets during the Bayelsa, Imo and Kogi governorship election.
Convener, Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room, Yunusa Ya’u, made the call at a news conference on the off-cycle governorship election in Abuja.
Ya’u said that the Situation Room noted reports of pre-filled results sheets in Kogi, Ogorima and Mangogo Local Government Areas where someone was apprehended with filled results sheets and 1million naira cash in a bag.
“There were also reports of filled result sheets in RA Eika/Ohizeni, Okehi LGA. Also in Adavi LGA, PU 044, RA01, there were reports of unavailability of election result sheets and failure to upload results on the iRev portal.
“Situation Room calls for thorough investigation of these incidents in order to preserve the integrity of the elections.”
Ya’u said that the coalition of CSOs observed that in Kogi State, transportation was not available in 26 percent of the Registration Area Centres (RACs) visited.
He said that materials were not properly batched in 17 per cent of the RACs visited and the required number of election officials were not available in 15 per cent of the RACs visited.
He said that the Situation Room urged INEC to take measures to ensure that these incidents would not result in the disenfranchisement of the registered voters in these areas.
The conveyer said that the group observed that the Bi-Modal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) functioned optimally in most polling units across the three states.
He, however, said that there were reports of malfunctioning of the machines in some areas and a number of eligible voters were disenfranchised.
He said that Situation Room noted that security personnel deployed for the elections were relatively civil in their conduct within and outside polling units.
“However, some security personnel were observed standing-by while vote buying was going on.
Situation Room received reports of widespread vote buying across the three states. Some of the specific instances include sale of votes for amounts ranging from as low as N1,000 to N30,000 at various locations.
“In Bayelsa State, for instance, voters were seen showing their thumb printed ballot papers in exchange for rice, drinks and money in PU 015, RA11, Southern Ijaw LGA.”
Ya’u said that Situation Room partners reported 19 incidents of violence in the three states and several injuries were reported.
He added that on a general note, citizens came out to vote, contrary to the initial apprehension that trailed beginning of the electioneering process.
He said that Situation Room called on INEC and security agencies to ensure the peaceful and transparent conclusion of these elections.
He said that the Situation Room specifically called on security agencies to continue to maintain law and order through the remaining phases of this exercise. (NAN)