– INEC said some of its staff have been kisnapped to unknown destination – INEC had cancelled election in at least 6 local governments in the state – But the electoral body said the suspension does not affect the constituencies where the exercise has been completed and the results declared
Nigeria’s electoral body, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has suspended all further action on the Rivers state rerun election elections into the National Assembly and the House of Assembly.
INEC said this was necessary following the tense atmosphere and non-peaceful conduct of the poll which has so far seen at least 5 persons dead, attack on several permanent and ad hoc officials of INEC and abduction of some INEC staff to unknown destinations.
In a statement by INEC’s director, voter education and publicity, Mr Oluwole Osaze- Uzzi, he said: “Pursuant to the Orders of the Court of Appeal, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) conducted elections into various seats in the National and the Rivers State House of Assembly yesterday, the 19th of March, 2016. “Rather unfortunately, some of these elections witnessed the disruption of the process, including the barricading of some of the INEC Local Government offices and Registration Area Centres (RACs) used for the distribution of Electoral materials which led to the late commencement of the exercise in some places and consequently, its smooth take off. “Of more serious concern was the level of threats, violence and intimidation of election officials and voters by well armed thugs and miscreants allegedly acting on behalf of some politicians, which marred the elections in some areas. “There were reports of numerous attacks resulting in fatalities, kidnappings, ballot snatching, diversion of officials and materials, amongst others, which necessitated its suspension in 8 Local Government Areas. “Regrettably, such deviant behaviour has continued today. Several permanent and ad hoc staff engaged have been attacked, again resulting in fatalities, while some have been forcibly abducted and taken to presently unknown destinations. “Under such difficult circumstance, the Returning Officers were only able to collate and declare results in 1 Federal and 9 State constituencies where the disruption and malpractices were not so widespread. “Having reviewed the situation, the Commission is compelled to suspend all further action concerning the exercise in all the other constituencies in the State pending the receipt of a comprehensive report from its Field Officials and Monitors.
INEC said the suspension does not affect the constituencies where the exercise has been completed and the results declared by the Returning Officers.
Meanwhile, an official of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mrs Ekwi Adebisa, the ward 10, Port Harcourt LGA collation officer abducted last night has been found in Mile 1 police station in Port Harcourt.
Mrs Adebisa was allegedly found with 3 fake result sheets and attempted to switch them for the original before alarm was raised.