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CSOs express dissatisfaction with Saturday’s polls

Electorate casting their votes during the Saturday Presidential and National Assembly elections. Photo Credit: Radio Nigeria

The Civil Society Coalition has expressed dissatisfaction with the conduct of Saturday’s Presidential and National Assembly elections.

The group, which includes Yiaga Africa and the Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room, made their observations known while presenting an interim report on the elections in Abuja on Sunday.

According to the Coalition, the elections were marred by about 135 “incidents of abnormality”, which include; Logistics shortfalls, disruption of voting, delays in setting up in some areas, failure of the IRev system, among others.

The Chairman, Watching The Vote (WTV), Dr Hussaini Abdu, called on INEC to provide clear communication on locations where elections did not hold and ensure the process is concluded in those locations before returns are made.

INEC should be transparent and communicate the challenges faced during the deployment of the IReV,” Dr Abdu said.

INEC should make publicly available all BVAS accreditation data by polling unit, including the number of voters accredited by finger vs facial recognition,”. he demanded.

He also called for strict adherence to the provisions of the 2022 Electoral Act, saying, “INEC regulations and guidelines on the collation of results must be followed as provided in Section 64 of the Act.”

Collation officers and returning officers are required to compare the number of accredited voters and election results recorded on the hardcopy result sheet and scanned images on the BVAS,” he stated.

Meanwhile, the Convener of the Civil Society Situation Room, Ene Obi, said it was observed that IReV portal did not go live on time as 0% of the presidential results were transmitted on the IReV portal as at 8pm on Saturday.

(However), results for the Senate and House of Representatives elections went live at about 4:00pm.”

According to Ms Obi, “Situation Room had expected that there will be a quick upload of results to improve and make the collation process more transparent, as this has always been the weakest link in the electoral process.”

She also said Situation Room had observed that “most of the Senatorial results uploaded were not legible”.

There were also reports of Presiding Officers who either refused or were unable to upload results,” she said.

Ms Obi added that in 14% of polling units, there were glitches, including failure of the device to start, failure to authenticate voters, discharge of battery, and intermittent power outages.

Reporting by Julian Osamoto; Editing by Tony Okerafor