Ad-hoc staff working for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) did not count the votes at the polling unit 07, Ward 09 where Governor Nyesom Wike in Obio Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State voted on Saturday.
This was in contravention of INEC guideline that presiding officers, who are in charge of voting exercise at polling units, must “count and loudly announce votes scored by each political party” and thereafter paste the results “conspicuously” after the appropriate recording.
When PREMIUM TIMES first visited Mr Wike’s polling unit, where his family compound is located, minutes before noon, we observed a bustling and festive atmosphere.
Observers and INEC officials were served meals and for a moment the officials went on break while eating.
“We are on break now,” said the PO, who confirmed there was no problem related to the conduct of elections in the polling unit.
By the time our reporter returned for the results from the pollings at 3 PM, voting had ended and all INEC officials had left.
The form containing results was not posted anywhere.
When asked what the results were, observers refused to speak, saying it was not their duty.
However, various persons, including one observer, a journalist and two residents, all speaking anonymously, confirmed “no votes were counted here.”
“They just packed everything into the bag and left for the collation centre,” said the journalist who witnessed the end of the voting exercise.
“They didn’t count any votes now,” one resident said.
It was a different case in other polling units observed by PREMIUM TIMES.
However, in other places too, results were not posted for public view.
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