Review Imo Election Over Irregularities – Int’l Observers Task INEC

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A foreign observer group, Pan African Women Projects has asked the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to review the governorship election in Imo State over “irregularities in result tallying as shown in the portal”.

Addressing a press conference in Owerri on Wednesday, the Head of Mission for Pan African Women Projects, Dr (Mrs) Eno UDENSI alleged that elections were not held at many polling units within the state.

The group expressed dismay at the violence that was recorded during the conduct of the governorship election in the state, calling on the new Leadership of the Nigeria Police Force to address the grey areas of security lapses at the election and make corrections towards the subsequent elections in Nigeria.

The group said, “At this election, we observed irregularities in the tallied results as shown in the portal. Also, there were polling units where elections were not held. When these reports came to our situation room we asked our observers on the field to get footage of these units for our reports.

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“The elections in Imo State were conducted at variance with the provisions of the Electoral Act 2022 but we are hopeful that the Electoral Commission will pay attention to these irregularities and consider our recommendations and suggestions in our report for subsequent credibility in future elections to be conducted.”

“The BVAS is one of the landmark introductions by INEC into the election process in Nigeria. But it is without its shortfalls. The speed at which BVAS processes information and the challenges of network connectivity are what INEC should seriously look at.

“This election recorded notable incidences of unrest in some Local Government Areas in Imo State. Our organization will only speak and report incidents we observed through our observation team on Saturday 11th November, 2023 in Imo state.

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“The security agencies need to do a review of the activities of security agencies at this election. We plead with the new Leadership of the Nigerian Police Force through this medium to have a stakeholder meeting with representatives of political parties, INEC, Observers, and the media to address the grey areas of security lapses at this election and make corrections towards the subsequent elections in Nigeria.

“At Attah High School, Ikeduru we met a traumatic scene when we arrived at the polling units. The PO expressed her shock over the invasion of the polling units by armed thugs that carted away the materials and kidnapped a certain man named Emmanuel Ihenachio Ezirim leaving the young wife and mother in pain.

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“We also carried all the Ad-hoc staff at the polling units back to the INEC office in the Local Government Area but we never found the policewoman whom we were informed ran into the bush with other voters for safety.

”At Oru East, there were incidents of ballot box snatching as observed by our observers deployed to the LGA. The units are 040 Ama Ofuokwu Owerri, units 017 Capino Secondary School, Umuhu, Omuma, Unit 020 Ogbo-Ewu market square,032 Oil Mill,027 Amajaraogu Square, Unit 036 Umuihihioke,042,043,045 Umunwanzu Square. C. OWERRI MUNICIPAL LGA
In unit 022, Market Square, Orlu Road we observed an incidence of ballot box snatching and intimidation.

“At Oru West unit 011, ward 1 the ballot box was snatched and materials carted away by armed thugs. We observed a low turnout of voters across the State at this election as compared to other elections we witnessed. At many polling units we visited even at 1230pm the total number of voters seen at polling units was very few.”

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