The Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room has called for a thorough investigation into the pre-filled results sheets in the Kogi governorship election.
The convener of the Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room, Yunusa Ya’u, made the call at a news conference in Abuja on the off-cycle governorship election in Kogi, Imo and Bayelsa.
Mr Ya’u said the situation room noted reports of pre-filled results sheets in Kogi, Ogorima and Mangogo Local Government Areas where someone was apprehended with filled results sheets and N1 million cash in a bag.
“There were also reports of filled result sheets in RA Eika/Ohizeni, Okehi LGA. Also, in Adavi LGA, PU 044, RA01, there were reports of unavailability of election result sheets and failure to upload results on the iRev portal.
“Situation Room calls for a thorough investigation of these incidents in order to preserve the integrity of the elections,” he said.
Mr Ya’u said the coalition of CSOs observed that in Kogi State, transportation was unavailable in 26 per cent of the Registration Area Centres (RACs) visited.
He said materials were not properly batched in 17 per cent of the RACs visited, and the required number of election officials were unavailable in 15 per cent of the RACs visited.
Mr Ya’u said the Situation Room urged INEC to take measures to ensure that the incidents would not disenfranchise the registered voters in these areas.
The convener said the group observed that the Bi-Modal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) functioned optimally in most polling units across the three states.
He, however, said there were reports of malfunctioning machines in some areas, and several eligible voters were disenfranchised.
Mr Ya’u noted that the security personnel deployed for the elections were relatively civil in their conduct within and outside polling units.
“However, some security personnel were observed standing by while vote buying was going on,” he said.
According to him, there was widespread vote buying across the states, ranging from N1,000 to N30,000.
“In Bayelsa State, for instance, voters were seen showing their thumb-printed ballot papers in exchange for rice, drinks and money in PU 015, RA11, Southern Ijaw LGA,“ said Mr Ya’u.
Mr Ya’u said Situation Room partners reported 19 incidents of violence in the three states and several injuries.
He added that on a general note, citizens came out to vote, contrary to the initial apprehension that trailed the beginning of the electioneering process.