L- R Convener CSOs Situation Room Ene Obi, Executive Director PLAC Clement Nwankwo and other Board Members. Photo Credit Julian Osamoto/Radio Nigeria
The Civil Society Situation Room, has called for an independent inquiry into the conduct of the 2023 General Election in Nigeria.
The Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) made the call in their Second Interim Statement on the Governorship and State Houses of Assembly elections on Sunday in Abuja.
The report, signed by the Convener, Ene Obi, and co-coveners Asma’u Joda and James Ugochukwu, said investigation into the election process was necessary to unravel the challenges experienced and some irregularities.
Obi noted that the Situation Room’s observation and analysis of the elections revealed huge shortcomings with the management of electoral operations and logistics as well as election security.
“Situation Room notes that Nigeria has again missed the opportunity to deliver on credible elections even at the grassroots level. In the light of the serious shortcomings with the state elections, the Situation Room calls for an independent inquiry into the conduct of the 2023 General Elections in Nigeria”.
“This independent inquiry should address, amongst other issues, procurement, logistics management and abuse of electoral process by INEC and security officials.This is urgently needed to identify challenges and make recommendations towards repairing the damaged credibility of Nigeria’s electoral process.”
IReV portal functioned optimally – Yiaga Africa
Meanwhile, Yiaga Africa on Sunday said the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Result Viewing portal (IReV) functioned optimally during the Governorship and State Assembly elections.
Yiaga Board Member, Ezenwa Nwagwu, stated this at a news conference in Abuja.
Mr Ezenwa was focusing on the Governorship and State Assembly elections, supported by the European Union through its Support to Democratic Governance in Nigeria (EU-SDGN).
According to him, electronic accreditation using the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) was successfully implemented in a significant number of polling units as observed by Yiaga Africa.
“Unlike the February 25 presidential election, the INEC Election Results Viewing (IReV) portal functioned optimally in this election, enabling citizens to download polling unit-level results,” he said.
“Yiaga Africa observed that the BVAS was deployed across all the polling units observed in Benue, Delta and Kano polling units. In 88% of polling units in Benue, the BVAS functioned properly.
However, in 10% of polling units, the BVAS malfunctioned, and it was fixed and in 1% of the polling units, it malfunctioned and was replaced.”
The group said it verified 216 critical incidents witnessed by WatchingTheVote citizen observers, including vote-trading, violence, ballot-snatching, voter-suppression, among others .
Yiaga Africa condemned acts of voter suppression fuelled, it said, by ethnic profiling, political thuggery and desperation to secure electoral victory at all costs.
The election observer group called on INEC to apply proper oversight of the results collation process and ensure that results declared under duress or in breach of the Electoral Act, INEC Guidelines or Manual, were reviewed in line with Section 65 of the Act.
Reporting by Julian Osamoto; Editing by Tony Okerafor