The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has expressed its displeasure over the late arrival of INEC officials and voting materials across polling stations in the country.
On Saturday, Mahmood Yakubu, INEC Chairman, acknowledged the difficulties in deploying manpower and materials for the presidential and National Assembly elections.
In a statement issued by the NBA Election Working Group, on Saturday, Yakubu Maikyau, NBA’s president, described the situation as “regrettable.”
Mr Maikyau said voters turned out hours ahead of polling but electoral officials arrived late.
“Our observers reported that apart from FCT, Ekiti, Lagos and Kaduna states, voting materials arrived more than one hour late in 75% of polling stations.”
He called on INEC to mobilise the back-up arrangement and deploy functioning BVAS machines, owing to complaints of nonfunctioning of the machines in some locations.
But Mr Maikyau lauded the electoral umpire for its painstaking efforts in preparing for the polls.
“We also have reports that in some polling stations in the FCT, INEC officials and materials arrived on time with no voter present. This situation remained so until noon with no indications as to why this was so.
“I call on INEC to make speedy efforts to ensure that polling materials get delivered to all polling units that are yet to receive them, to ensure that voters in those areas are not disenfranchised.
“I have also received reports of challenges with the use of BVAS, particularly in some parts of Rivers, Lagos, Plateau, Kano and Kaduna states, including some parts of FCT. I make specific reference to Polling Unit number 003 in Asokoro District, opposite the ECOWAS Secretariat.
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“The NBA calls on INEC to immediately mobilise the back-up arrangement and deploy a functioning BVAS machine, having in mind the impact of non-functioning or malfunctioning BVAS devices on the election process.
“Apart from the above-highlighted challenges, we have reports that voting is going on well in many parts of the country,” the statement read in part.
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