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YIAGA wants INEC to adhere strictly to rules on cancelled votes

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Chairman of Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Mahmood Yakubu

Youth Initiative for Advocacy, Growth and Advancement (YIAGA) Africa has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to ensure that the guidelines on cancelled votes are strictly followed to reduce discretion on the part of its officials.

Speaking yesterday at a press briefing in Abuja, YIAGA executive director, Samson Itodo, stated: “These guidelines include ensuring that where the scenario in the INEC guidelines on cancelled ballots provides for the election to be conducted the following day, such elections are conducted as so required to reduce the threat of disenfranchising voters for no fault of theirs.”

Itodo urged the commission to fully comply to the Electoral Guideline for the conduct of the general election by posting Forms EC 60E series in all collation centres, adding that the recommendation was made based on WTV presidential election observation findings of results not posted in 19 per cent of the observed sampled polling units.

He called on security agencies to ensure proper coordination, especially between the military and police, noting that the police have the coordinating responsibility of election security and not the soldiers.

“YIAGA Africa is concerned with the non-compliance with result collation guidelines by INEC officials, especially presiding officers, ward collation officers and returning officers.

“INEC should ensure that collation centres are accessible to accredited observers. The Form EC 40G should be revised to include details for cancellation for every polling unit cancelled. The current form only captures the name of the polling unit and the total number of registered voters affected without reasons for cancellation,” he said.

To increase transparency in the collation process, the director encouraged INEC to share Form EC 40G series with party agents present during the different stages of the collation process.

Itodo further called on the INEC to ensure strict compliance with the use of the card readers for accreditation, suggesting sanction on polling officials who disregard the INEC guidelines and regulations.


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