INEC suspends election in nine wards of Kogi LGA over malpractice


The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it has suspended election in the nine wards in Ogori Magongo LGA of Kogi state due to cases of electoral malpractice.


Mohammed Haruna, INEC’s national commissioner and member of information and voter education committee, announced the suspension of the election in a statement on Saturday evening.


The off-cycle governorship elections were held on Saturday in Bayelsa, Kogi, and Imo states.


Haruna said irregularities such as completed result sheets before voting, and other serious issues were recorded in nine wards.


He said the incidents in the affected areas are being investigated, adding that the next course of action would be announced in 24 hours.


“The commission has received reports from our officials in Kogi state on incidences of electoral malpractices, particularly the incident of result sheets completed before voting,” the statement reads.


“Reports indicate that the incidents occurred in Adavi, Ajaokuta, Ogori/Magongo, Okehi and Okene local government areas.


 “The most serious incidents occurred in Ogori/Magongo, affecting nine of 10 registration areas.


“This is entirely unacceptable. Any result not emanating from the commission’s process in the polling units will not be accepted.


“The commission is determined not to reward bad behaviour. Consequently, the election in the nine Wards in Ogori/Magongo LGA (Eni, Okibo, Okesi, Ileteju, Aiyeromi, Ugugu, Obinoyin, Obatgben and Oturu) is at this moment suspended.


“The incidences in the other local government areas are being thoroughly investigated, and the outcome, including the way forward, will be announced in the next 24 hours.”


 “Meanwhile, as the processes continue, we follow the audit trail of personnel and materials to ascertain those who may have been complicit in undermining the process.


“We have a record of all officials deployed at various levels as supervisors, monitors, technical staff or polling unit officials and all election materials issued to them. Appropriate sanctions will be applied where necessary.”


The national commissioner assured voters of INEC’s commitment to ensure their votes are protected and respected.

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