CSO faults late-night voting in Ede North, Ede South for Osun polls
• Urges probe to forestall future occurrence • Condemns vote-buying
The Northern Patriotic Front (NPF), one of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) accredited Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) that monitored and observed the just-concluded Osun State governorship election, has faulted late night voting in Ede South and Ede North local councils.
To this end, the group urged the electoral umpire to investigate the matter with a view to forestalling future occurrence. It was equally noted that security was relaxed in some parts of Ede.
In an 18-page report signed by its Administrative Secretary, Rasheed Shuaib, a copy of which has been submitted to INEC, the group observed that there was vote-buying in some of the polling units its members visited, urging Nigerians not to leave the fight against vote-buying to CSOs and the anti-graft agencies alone.
It equally accused security operatives of compromise in some of the polling units its members visited. On the late night voting, the CSO noted: “According to the electoral guideline, the official close of voting at polling units is 2:30 p.m. In most of the polling units visited and as reported by the NPF observers, voting was concluded at various polling units across the state by 2:30 p.m. in accordance with the electoral law 2022 (as amended.)
“However, this was not followed in some of the polling units in Ede axis where voting was still going on till around 9:00 p.m. This is clearly against the provision of the Electoral Act. This anomaly was also reported by some other observer groups’ analysis in the media.
“The conduct of election in Ede South and Ede North should be investigated to assist the commission in preventing admitting voters to queue after the stipulated time,” the group said.
The two local government areas where late-night voting occurred are strongholds of the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Ademola Adeleke, who eventually won the election.
It will be recalled that Ismail Omipidan, spokesperson of Governor Adegboyega Oyetola, who is the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, had during an interview on Channels Television a day after the election, decried late-night voting witnessed in the two local government areas under reference.