Walk through your talk, follow election guidelines, CTA tells INEC

INEC National collation centre for 2023 presidential election

The Centre for Transparency Advocacy (CTA) has asked Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to walk through its talk and ensure that election guidelines put in place are followed to the end.

The election observer group urged Nigerians to be patient and vigilant, adding that the elections are not yet over.

The group also demanded investigation into the roles played by some Resident Electoral Commissioners, alleging that “some of them are alleged to be partisan and in connivance with politicians to derail due process.”

Addressing a press conference Friday in Abuja on its observations on the conduct of Saturday’s presidential and National Assembly elections, Executive Director of CTA, Faith Nwadishi, urged politicians who feel aggrieved to seek legal means for redress and not heat up the polity by making inciting statements and sponsoring crowds to protest.

Nwadishi said: The CTA calls on INEC to walk through its talk. That INEC should follow through its guidelines on elections in order not to create the impression of being compromised or partial.

“That INEC should have conducted fresh election in areas where the rescheduled elections did not hold as was announced by INEC due to voter suppression, voters intimidations and violence also where materials arrived late making it impossible for elections to hold in those areas as scheduled.

“INEC should as a matter of priority, set up an enquiry to investigate its staff especially some Resident Electoral Commissioners, the Electoral Officers at the LGAs, supervisory presiding officers and dubious adhoc staff. We ask that all those involved in electoral malpractice should be arrested, prosecuted and punished adequately. This will serve as a deterrent.

“INEC should have the political will to cleanse itself of these putrid impurities that has cast doubts to its integrity and neutrality. The use of B-VAS for upload of polling unit results should be used in the March 11, 2023 Governorship and States Houses of Assembly Elections.

“That the security agencies must investigate and prosecute its officers and men found wanting in the breach of electoral laws

“We implore Nigerians to be patient. Nigerians should be vigilant as the elections are not yet over. March 11, 2023 is the Governorship and States House of Assembly Elections. Do not be discouraged, go out and vote for candidates of your choice. we believe that INEC will do the right thing.

“We urge all stakeholders to continue to conduct themselves in a peaceful and responsible manner. Specifically, we call on INEC to hold itself to the highest level of neutrality and accountability and re assure Nigerians that Osun and Ekiti can be replicated in the forth coming Governorship and House of Assembly elections.

“CTA shall be observing the governorship and house of assembly elections and calls on all stakeholders to ensure that the elections are peaceful.”

CTA had mobilized and deployed 2000 field observers across Nigeria to monitor the elections.

“This elections deployed technology as its safeguard, and according to our observers, the ratio of challenges emanating from the B-VAS was at 24 percent majorly from poor network leading to slowness of the B-VAS, the inability of the B-VAS to capture finger prints, wrong pass word, low batteries and the refusal of the presiding officers to upload results after elections at the polling units claiming wrong codes among others.

“There were reports of tension from polling units arising from late arrival of personnel and materials, incomplete election materials, intimidation by party thugs, forced extension of voting hours, non-availability of result sheets, double voting by some persons, vote canvasing, undue assistance by party agents to aid voters thumb print, unnecessary hoarding of voting materials by adhoc staff for unjust reasons, insufficient security and poor crowd control among others.”

On the controversy surrounding the work of BVAS, the CTA’s boss said: “”The role of Resident Electoral Commissioners at this time should be interrogated as some of them are alleged to be partisan and in connivance with politicians to derail due process.

“You may recall that CTA and other CSOs condemned the appointment of some partisan Resident Electoral commissioners leading up to the election. It appears that these set of INEC officials habitually work at variance with set guidelines and orders from the INEC headquarters.

“It was alleged that they hoarded result sheets and gave them out to highest bidders who apparently used the result sheets to tamper with actual outcomes of polls from the polling units. It was also alleged that these same group of INEC staff hoarded the codes and access to the B-VAS hence the non-transmission of results from the polling units as stipulated by law. This is unacceptable and should be discouraged.”

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