Osun 2018: Observer urges INEC to probe cancellation of result
Election Monitor (EM), one of the accredited observers of the recently concluded Osun State election, has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to further investigate circumstances that led to declaring the September 22, 2018 election inconclusive.
The EM Coordinator, Mr. Abiodun Ajijola, while presenting a comprehensive report of the election, yesterday, in Abuja, pointed out that the exercise was peaceful and well conducted by INEC, but the few discrepancies should be probed to ascertain whether it should affect the election’s general outcome.
The EM called for further investigation into the actual reasons for the cancellations, as it observed some inconsistency among INEC staff. Giving instances of Orolu Local Government Area, Ajijola noted that the polling official, while making his presentation, could not explain why there were cancellations in the two polling units, as well as the number of affected voters.He also stated that the rerun election fell below global standard for free and fair election, primarily because of security agencies’ failure to prevent unlawful actions of political actors and thugs.
He said: “The Osun State governorship election was marred by voters intimidation, harassment and unlawful arrest of accredited journalists and observers. It is not possible to know the actual winner of the election, since many voters were denied their fundamental human right for franchise.”
He expressed concern over high number of voided votes of 47,800, which was unprecedented in Nigerian history, and called for a forensic audit of the cancelled votes to determine if there was any foul play.While commending INEC’s role in the conduct of the election, Ajijola said the body needed to do more in ensuring its staff is on the same page with it.
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