nigeria decides: Intersociety Seeks Extension Of Voting Deadline In Anambra, Delta, Enugu, Others Over Late Arrival Of Election Materials

The International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law (Intersociety) has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to extend the time of voting in Anambra, Delta, Imo, Ebonyi, Enugu and Abia states.

Intersociety said despite promises that the election will commence by 8:30 am across the country, in Southeast Nigeria and Igbo communities in Delta, election materials arrived at some polling units at 2 pm, about six hours late.

In an open letter to the INEC signed by its principal officers – Emeka Umeagbalasi, Chinwe Umeche, Obianuju Joy and Chidinma Udegbunam, Intersociety alleged that voting materials were deliberately delayed in most parts of Anambra State and Southeast South-South states generally for hours.

“As if that was not enough as at 12:30pm, electoral officers and polling officials are yet to arrive in various polling units across the State, especially in the State’s River-line LGAs of Ogbaru, Anambra West, Anambra East, Oyi, Awka South, Awka North, Ayamelum and others including Ihiala, Nnewi South, Orumba North, Orumba South and Idemmili North and Idemmili South.

“The Ukaegbu and St Vincent (opposite Anambra Broadcasting Service) areas of Awada in Idemmili North were yet to receive voting materials and INEC officials as at 1:pm. There are also several complaints of INEC officials arriving late without result sheets; with Otumoye electoral area of Ogbaru as a clear case in point.

“Also, in Enugu State, election materials arrived Emene Annunciation Hospital Polling units by 2:02pm.

“At Umode/Oruku Ward in Nkanu East Local Government Area of Enugu State, the ward of Prof. Barth Nnaji, election was not going on because BVAS machines are not working. Also in Akpugo Ward, BVAS machines are not working despite INEC officials arriving at Polling units at about 12:30 pm.”

It further stated, “Our findings further indicate that similar situations have been the case in several parts of Delta, Imo, Enugu, Ebonyi and Abia; whereas in states like Kano, Adamawa and so on, accreditation/voting started as early as 8:30 am with Alhaji Atiku Abubakar as one of the earliest voters. In many parts of Ideato North and Ideato South, Okigwe and several, if not most parts of Imo State, INEC officials were nowhere to be seen with voting materials; likewise different parts of Aguata including Uga, Ekwulobia, etc. All these are happening with less than one-and-a-half to the end of the voting or before 2:30pm.

“For purpose of equity and just and disabusing the minds of tens of millions of Nigerians who already held that the delays were deliberately orchestrated to shut out millions of enthusiastic voters from freely voting candidates of their choice, especially in South-East and South-South, Intersociety strongly demands for four hours extension of the voting deadline in the affected states, or from 2:30pm to 6:30pm.”

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