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Anambra Election: Independent observer points out challenges

Yiaga Africa, an independent election observer group, says late arrival of electoral officials, logistics, accreditation and voting as well as functionality of the Bimodal Voter  Accreditation System denied many electorate the right to vote in the Anambra gobernatorial election.

Briefing newsmen on the preliminary statement of the election released in Abuja, the Executive Director YIAGA Africa, Mr Samson Itodo, said the election was inconclusive due to some anomalies

According to him, based on reports on verified facts received from 229 of 248 sampled polling units using the Watching the Vote WTV, method, an average, two polling officials were deployed to those polling units where INEC officials and materials arri observed the deployment of the BVAS to the polling units. We received reports of the BVAS failure to authenticate voters’ fingerprints and photos even where voter details were confirmed on the voter register, YIAGA Africa is concerned that the non-opening of these polling stations disenfranchises registered voters in those polling units,” he stated.

The group also  blamed late arrival of polling staff, lack of effective collaboration between INEC and transport companies,  as well as lack of contingency plans to take care of any failure”

A board member of  YIAGA Africa, Mr Ezenwa Nwagwu, in his presentation said “YIAGA Africa WTV identified 77 critical incidents of infractions that can undermine Electoral process, INEC turnout, and  rejected ballots for 20 LGA are consistent with YIAGA Africa WTV PVT estimates which was 10.2 and 12.8 percent, for rejected ballots YIAGA Africa WTV estimates 2.5 and 3.7 percent, while INEC results was 3.3 percent”

On her part the Program Manager YIAGA Africa, Miss Cynthia Mbamalu in the Preliminary recommendations said” INEC should enhance the transparency of the supplementary election, publish total number of PVC collected in Ihiala LGA and also inform the public of it’s status”

“INEC should equally maintain non partisan in the supplementary election, investigate and security agencies should prosecute all security officer involved in gross misconduct and electoral fraud especially on the reported incident of Orumba North LGA, while the National Assembly should conclude the amendment to the electoral act for speedy assent by the President.” She said.

Reporting by Julian Osamoto, editing by Daniel Adejo