INEC staffer killed, some harassed, abducted, hospitalised – Official 

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Sunday announced that one of its staffers was killed in electoral violence and some others, both regular and ad hoc were victims of violence. 

Although the commission did not mention where the staff member  was killed, it also disclosed that “some of our staff were abducted, harassed, intimidated and hospitalised.”

National Commissioner and Chairman Information and Voter Education Committee (IVEC) Barrister Festus Okoye stated this while briefing newsmen at the National Situation Room at the International Conference Centre Abuja.

The IVEC chairman who noted that the March 18 governorship and state assembly elections were a marked improvement on the presidential polls of February 25, noted that majority of the polling units nationwide opened on schedule and citizens were attended to promptly.

He said: “Consequently, majority of the polling units nationwide opened on schedule and citizens were attended to promptly. Similarly, there was improved voter authentication using the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) while the uploading of Polling Unit results to the INEC Result Viewing Portal (IReV) witnessed a remarkable improvement.

“We have left no stone unturned as far as the processes and procedures under the control of the Commission were concerned.

“However, for difficult and unforeseen circumstances outside the Commission’s control, we did our best to respond, especially where processes were disrupted by actors over whom we have little or no control. 

“Such diabolical behaviour did not only affect citizens but also impacted on the Commission’s officials and processes. 

“INEC staff, both regular and ad hoc were victims of violence. Some of our staff were abducted, harassed, intimidated, hospitalised and in one case killed. 

“Nevertheless, where we could not deploy to enable citizens to vote, the commission took the decision to remobilise to such places to enable citizens to exercise their franchise. 

“Unfortunately, we could not extend the same to areas where voting was disrupted, and election materials destroyed. We are keeping our eyes on those areas and would not hesitate to remobilize where the outcome of the election is affected.

“At the moment, collation of results and declaration of winners for the 28 Governorship and 993 State Assembly elections are ongoing nationwide. 

“We are committed to the sanctity of the process and will not hesitate to take drastic measures against proven irregularities. 

“Allegations of voter inducement, harassment and manipulation of results will be reviewed and addressed.

“Earlier today, the Commission alerted the nation to the invasion of our Obingwa Local Government Area office in Abia state by thugs during the collation of results for the governorship and State Assembly elections. 

“In contention was the collated result from the Registration Areas for the Governorship election in that Local Government Area. The intention was to force the collation of these contentious results. The behaviour of these thugs is unacceptable and there will be a thorough review of the results.

“The Commission does not take the patience of citizens for granted and will continue to take steps to protect the integrity of the vote and consolidate the progress made so far in the electoral process.”