INEC expresses reservation over late submission of observers’ reports on election

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INEC expresses reservation over late submission of observers’ reports on election
INEC

INEC expresses reservation over late submission of observers’ reports on election

 

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Wednesday expressed reservation over late submission of observer groups’ reports on Ekiti and Osun Governorship poll.

Mr Sam Olumekun, the INEC National Commissioner, Election and Party Monitoring Committee (EPMC), said this in Abuja at the post-election workshop on Ekiti and Osun Governorship election with accredited observer groups.

Olumekun, represented by INEC Director, Voter Education and Publicity, Mr Victor Aluko, said 85 out of the 88 accredited groups for the election completed their accreditation process and deployed about 9,830 field observers for both states elections.

“Out of the 88 accredited groups only 25 reports have been received for Ekiti, while only 27 groups have submitted for Osun election so far.

“Also, response rate has been low on the synopsis form for election observation which was supposed to have been received by the commission within 72 hours after announcement of results of election.

“For Ekiti only 26 groups responded, while only 25 groups responded for Osun election. This, indeed, is less than satisfactory,” he said.

Olumekun added that another serious issue with election observation which has been of concern to the commission was the integrity in election observation.

He said while there were a number of trustworthy, honest, objective, hardworking and credible observer groups that have contributed greatly to deepening Nigeria democracy and the electoral process, some cared less about integrity.

“Over the years, there are still others who have continued to be unserious about election observation and have cared less about integrity.

“We have evidence of observer groups engaged in plagiarism in their report. We observed a number of groups summiting similar reports.

“The commission is concerned with this development and new measures will soon be unveiled to manage such elements within the election observation family,’’ he said.

The national commissioner said that athough INEC has been applauded for the conduct of the two election, the commission considered it imperative to review the conduct from the perspective of the accredited observers.

He said that the commission wanted to know areas it faired well so it can improve on them as well where it needed to improved before 2023 general elections.

Olumekun also advised Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to study the Electoral Act, 2022 in order to gain the needed knowledge on the dynamics of election management in Nigeria.

He reminded the groups that the commission would soon commence the process of engagement of observer groups across the federation for the 2023 General Elections.

“So, I urge you to do well to apply at the right time as the commission will not want to accommodate late applications.

“We look forward to working with you in future elections so that together we will continue to conduct free, fair and credible elections for sustainable democracy in Nigeria,’’ Olumekun said said.

In his remarks, Malam Aminu Idris, the INEC Director, Election and Party Monitoring Department (EPM), urged groups yet to submit their reports to give it a priority as INEC needed it ahead of 2023 general election.

“When we are looking for reports, we are looking not just for areas where there are challenges. We are also looking at areas where the commission is doing well.

“We cannot look at the factors that lead to doing well and we can improve on it and look at whether we can apply it to other areas.

“So it is very critical for us to get your reports and for the commission to review it and look at areas where improvement before the general elections,’’ Idris said.

Presenting the reports highlight, Nkecki Abuh, INEC Deputy Director, EPM, said there were commendations that there was no shortage of election materials, while most Pulling Units were set-up as at 8a.m.

Abuh added that the reports also highlighted that INEC Biomodal Voter Accreditation System brought credibility to the two election.

“On the issue of our polling unit process, we noted your challenges which were; one political parties agents interfered with the polling process by insisting on standing by voting cubicles to know the choice of voters.

“They are standing round the INEC polling personnel insisting on helping the aged or physically challenged.

“And for your recommendation you asked the Commission to engage with political parties on the need to train their agents on what constitutes their responsibilities at the Pus.

`Two, on PU design and setup so that they will desist from harassing PU personnel,’’ he said.

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