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NBA faults INEC on conduct of presidential, National Assembly polls

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Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) chairman Mahmood Yakubu opens a unveils result cheets on February 25, 2019 in Abuja during the presidential elections announcement. Kola SULAIMON / AFP

The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) yesterday faulted the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) over conduct of the Presidential and National Assembly elections in which President Muhammadu Buhari emerged winner.

The body also faulted logistics preparations of the Professor Mahmood Yakubu-led INEC for the Saturday, February 23, 2019 polls, accusing the commission’s officials of aiding and abetting politicians to rig during the exercise.

In its interim report on elections signed by Chairman, Elections Working Group (EWG), Afam Osigwe, it did not only indict INEC over challenges Nigerians faced, but insisted that some of its staff showed partisanship in the elections.

The NBA-EWG, however, noted that despite postponement of the polls by one week, the exercise recorded some noticeable but avoidable lapses associated with the ‘logistics challenges.’

It stated that its members reported that polls did not commence at 8am in most polling units nationwide.

This, according to it, was a drawback, which manifested in the South-South, Southeast, Southwest and North Central zones of the country, among several other lapses.

However, candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC) for Ikom/Boki Federal Constituency of Cross River, Victor Abang, has rejected INEC’s result declaring the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Chris Agibe, as winner.

INEC had declared Agibe winner of the election with 38,456 votes against APC’s Abang, who scored 29,977 votes.

His rejection was made known in a statement issued yesterday in Calabar by Director General of Abang’s Reality Campaign Network, Prince Eka Williams.

“The attention of the Reality Campaign Network of Sir Victor Abang has been drawn to a purported announcement of winner for the Ikom/Boki Federal Constituency election by INEC.

“This is in spite of mass irregularities and sharp practices, which characterised the election. The announcement was done in contravention of the electoral act and guidelines for the election,” the statement reads.

Meanwhile, the Bayelsa State government has rejected votes allocated to the Buhari and other APC candidates, especially in Nembe Bassambiri and Southern Ijaw local government areas of the state to APC

Governor Seriake Dickson said in a statement issued by his Special Adviser, Media Relations, Fidelis Soriwei that elections did not hold in Nembe Bassambiri and Constituency 4 of Southern Ijaw.

But former Governor of the state, Timipre Sylva said Dickson and his party were only hallucinating having discovered they were losing the election in those areas.

He said election actually held in Basambiri and results were duly recorded and announced, saying the PDP was only crying wolf because it wanted to win at all cost in all the areas.


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