Nigeria: INEC Official Refuses to Paste Result - Harasses Election Observer

(file photo)
23 February 2019

A presiding officer at Polling Unit 3, ward 2, Brass Local Government in Bayelsa State on Saturday refused to paste the election result of the 2019 presidential and senatorial election as permitted by law.

The officer, who is a corps member and ad-hoc staffer of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) collated and announced both senatorial and presidential election at exactly 4:31 p.m.

But he refused to paste the result sheet for the voters in the area.

When an accredited election observer from the Centre for Democracy and Development requested to see a copy of the result sheet, the assistant presiding officer obliged him but the presiding officer insisted that INEC has directed them "not to speak or show the result to anyone including the media."

The observer said the presiding officer asked the police officer in charge of the unit to seize his phone and delete all the pictures in it.

"The police officer at the unit asked me to sit down, opened my pictures, asked me to open my WhatsApp, checked all my messages, the recipients and instructed me to delete the pictures and videos," he said.

The reporter said the police officer and the presiding officer asked him to go to the RAC centre "if he wants to see the results".

The reporter said when he sighted the result sheet, it had not been signed.

"I was asked to come to the RAC and check the result as it will only be posted there. Even copies of the results were not given to the party agents present," he said.

A total of 73 presidential candidates are participating in today's election.

However, the contest is expected to be between incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari of the APC and ex-Vice President Atiku Abubakar of the PDP.

In 2015, Mr Buhari won the presidential election, defeating the then incumbent President, Goodluck Jonathan, with over two million votes.

Results of this election will determine if he will remain in power for the next four years or will be vacating his seat.

Nigerians are also voting for senators and members of the House of Representatives.

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