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Home Business Our Staff Attacked, Electoral Material Vandalised During Bye-Election – INEC

Our Staff Attacked, Electoral Material Vandalised During Bye-Election – INEC

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says pockets of violence were recorded in some parts of the country during the bye-elections held over the weekend.

The electoral body made this known in a statement on Sunday by its national commissioner for information and voter education, Festus Okoye.

Citynews reports that the commission disclosed that some of its staff were assaulted and electoral materials destroyed during the bye-elections in 11 states of the federation.

December 9 has been announced as the date for the supplementary bye-election in Zamfara state where  some incidents of violence were recorded.

INEC cited over-voting in 14 polling units as reason for the cancellation of results in Bakura constituency.

It said election disruption occured in the declaration of the bye-election for Bakura Constituency.

Okoye said though the elections were generally peaceful, some of INEC’s staff were attacked, and in some areas, money was demanded before electoral materials were allowed to be deployed.

“The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) conducted bye-elections spread across eleven States of the country on Saturday, 5th December 2020. The bye-elections involved nine States House of Assembly seats and six Senatorial seats. The results of all the House of Assembly seats have been declared, except for Bakura State Constituency in Zamfara state,” he said.

“Also, the results of four Senatorial seats have been successfully declared and the commission hopes that the results of the other Senatorial seats would be declared soon. As it has become the practice of the commission, the results of the elections will be available on the commission’s website during the week.

“Although the elections went generally well, the commission regrets the some unscrupulous persons are still bent on disrupting the process. In some areas, staff of the commission were assaulted and materials destroyed, while in others there was resistance to the use of the smart card reader. In yet other areas, commission staff were prevented from deploying altogether. In fact, in one area in Lagos State, some people demanded for money from INEC staff before they would be allowed to deploy. These acts continue to reflect poorly on our country and denude the spirited efforts of the commission to improve the electoral process under very difficult circumstances. Sadly, a number of the commission’s staff were assaulted during the bye-elections. The commission commiserates with them.

“One consequence of the lingering of election disruption manifested in the declaration of the bye-election for Bakura State Constituency in Zamfara state inconclusive. The Returning Officer declared the result inconclusive in line with Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) and the commission’s Regulations and Guidelines for the Conduct of Elections.

“The election for Bakura State Constituency became inconclusive because the 2,181 vote margin between in the two leading candidates-those of the PDP (18,645 votes) and APC (16,464) – is less than the total number of registered voters in 14 polling Units where elections were cancelled or not held, which stands at 11,429.

“Consequently, by the ‘margin of lead principle’, the election could not be declared and no winner was returned. Voting in the 14 affected polling Units was marred by over-voting, abduction of staff of the commission, violence, assault occasioning grievous hurt against INEC officials, burning of INEC materials and snatching and carting away of sensitive Electoral materials, resistance to the use of smart card readers and obstruction of the electoral process”

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