Why INEC cancelled voting in six Lagos federal constituencies – REC

Lagos REC at the briefing
Lagos REC at the briefing

The Resident Electoral Commissioner in Lagos State, Sam Olumekun, has said violence and overvoting were responsible for declaring the elections in six federal constituencies in the state as inconclusive.

The elections were held on February 23 but will now be re-conducted in the affected units on Saturday alongside the governorship and state House of Assembly polls.

At a press conference in Lagos, Mr Olumekun said all measures have been put in place for all the elections in Lagos on Saturday.

Mr Olumekun said Ajeromi Ifelodun Federal Constituency is most affected by the reruns in the state with 71 affected polling units, followed by Oshodi /Isolo with 48 affected polling units.

According to the breakdown he gave at the conference, the results from 75 polling units were cancelled due to violence/overvoting and smart card reader malfunction.

He said the elections in 31 polling units were cancelled due to outright disruption by hoodlums, “14 were cancelled due to one violence or the other, 13 due to just over voting, five due to manual voting and not using smart card reader, and three due to outright malfunction of smart card reader.”

He said the elections in two polling units were cancelled because the collation officers could not produce results for the polling units.

“Two (others) were cancelled due to ballot box snatching, and one polling unit was cancelled due to the fact that the total inquiry done from the card reader that day exceeded the number of votes cast by wide margins.

” After a careful, thorough and painstaking review of the presidential /National Assembly elections in the state, commission observed that six federal constituency elections were inconclusive as a result of political thuggery, violence, snatching and disruption of ballot paper and boxes, manual voting and over voting in some polling units.”

He commended voters in the state for their “perseverance and resilience throughout the period as they patiently waited for the arrival of election officials some of who arrived late to commence poll. It was not a deliberate action; it was as a result of unforeseen circumstances that delayed their movement to the polling unit from the registration areas.”

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The REC said all materials needed for Saturday’s elections are already in the custody of the Central Bank of Nigeria.

“Smart card readers are being reconfigured for the election and refresher training will hold at the RAC ‘s on Friday.

” All ad-hoc staffs that performed below expectations have been replaced. Payment of honoraria to all the ad-hoc staff that partook in the last elections have been paid. Dialogue is ongoing with the leadership of NURTW and NARTO for better performance and prompt delivery of men and materials on election day before 8 a.m on the 9th of March.”

He said the security agencies have assured of maximum security before, during and after the elections.
Mr Olumekun expressed the sympathy of the commission to “those who were victims of the violence in the last elections.”

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