Following reports of electoral malpractice in the ongoing Kogi governorship election, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has announced the suspension of elections in nine wards in the State.
The nine wards, according to INEC, include Eni, Okibo, Okesi, Ileteju, Aiyeromi, Ugugu, Obinoyin, Obatgben and Oturu, which are in Ogori/Magongo Local Governemennt Area of the State.
This was contained in a statement by the National Commissioner & Member, Information and Voter Education Committee, Mohammed Kudu Haruna, released on Saturday.
“The Commission has received reports from our officials in Kogi State on incidences of electoral malpractices, particularly the incident of result sheets completed before voting.
“Reports indicate that the incidents occurred in Adavi, Ajaokuta, Ogori/Magongo, Okehi and Okene Local Government Areas. The most serious incidents occurred in Ogori/Magongo, affecting nine of 10 Registration Areas.
“This is entirely unacceptable. Any result not emanating from the Commission’s process in the Polling Units will not be accepted,” the statement partly read.
“The Commission is determined not to reward bad behaviour. Consequently, the election in the nine Wards in Ogori/Magongo LGA (Eni, Okibo, Okesi, Ileteju, Aiyeromi, Ugugu, Obinoyin, Obatgben and Oturu) is at this moment suspended. The incidences in the other Local Government Areas are being thoroughly investigated, and the outcome, including the way forward, will be announced in the next 24 hours,” the statement read.
The statement further assured the electorate in the State that their votes are protected, and their wishes will be respected.
Recall candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Dino Melaye and his counterpart in the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Murtala Ajaka had raised the alarm over “filled result sheets” in the Ogori/Magongo Local Government Area of the North Central State.
The duo alleged that results sheets were filled in Kogi before the commencement of voting on Saturday.