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August 18, 2018

INEC blacklists Imo over Electoral violence

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INEC CHairman - Jega

INEC CHairman – Jega

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said it would not conduct elections in Imo State until the violence and unruly conduct by some politicians that led to the inconclusiveness of the Oguta constituency in the State Assembly re-run on June 29, 2013 are addressed by politicians in the state.

Chairman of the electoral body, Prof. Attahiru Jega announced this at the Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room organized by Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre (PLAC).

Jega, who insisted that eight polling units remained canceled, indicted officials of Imo State Government and some members of the National Assembly for flouting the restriction order on the Election Day.

He said, “the commission received reports that the election witnessed incidents of violence and unruly conduct by politicians, necessitating cancellation of the election in eight polling units.  This cancellation made the election inconclusive”.

The INEC boss who was answering questions on the canceled election further stated: “Imo was regrettably a very bad election, particularly in Oguta where election has never taken place.  The trend there was that the power brokers in the area would just return result declaring whoever they like as the winner.  But in 2011, we insisted that election must take place in Oguta.  But they ganged up and subverted the process.

“Reports showed that officials of the Imo State Government and some members of the National Assembly across party lines moved around freely despite the restriction order – some of them with security escorts!  Worse, some of these politicians aren’t even from Oguta constituency where the election held.

Field reports showed that even though security agents mobilized appreciably for the exercise, there were cases of violence as well as ballots and result sheets snatching by thugs, as a result of which the election was canceled in the following polling units:

PU 001 in Ward 05 (Ndeloukwu/Umuowerre) – with 768 registered voters; PU 007 in Ward 03 (Izombe) – 919 registered voters, PU 009 in Ward 09 (Oru) – 808 registered voters.

“Others are PU 010 (Ward 09) – 657 registered voters; PU 011 (Ward 09) – 407 registered voters; PU 012 (Ward 09) – 408 registered voters; PU 013 (Ward 09) – 667 registered voters; PU 003 in Ward 02 (Egwe/Egbuoma) – 212 registered voters.

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