The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has suspended the collation of results for Saturday’s governorship elections in Abia and Enugu states to review some results in parts of the states respectively.
In a statement by the INEC National Commissioner, Festus Okoye, on Monday, he said the Commission took the decision after a meeting to review the elections on Monday.
He said the Commission has suspended the collation of results in Obingwa LGA of Abia State where he noted that its office was invaded by thugs on Sunday. Similarly, results from Nkanu East and Nsukka LGAs in Enugu State have also been suspended for further review.
Okoye said a review will be undertaken immediately before the process is concluded.
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Announcing the decision to take advice from Abuja before continuing the process at the collation centre in Enugu on Monday, INEC’s Collating Officer in Enugu State, Maduebibisi Ofo-Iwe, said he is ready to conclude the process in few minutes whenever the national body comes up with a final decision.
“So if you would agree with me let us respect the national office, let us respect them for a few minutes or few hours and then and then they give us their own idea. I am aware of my responsibility as returning officer or collating officer for this event.
“I am very, very aware of my responsibility, I can tell you I can proceed to the right, to the left or to the centre as I am sitting here but because the commission wishes to add or lend her voice to whatever in the next few minutes or hours.
“I will appeal to us to remain quiet, remain calm let’s get their advice and then we will conclude this in a while. I am totally ready to conclude it even in five minutes so that’s the situation,” the INEC Collating Officer said.
See the full statement below:
SUSPENSION OF FURTHER COLLATION OF GOVERNORSHIP ELECTION RESULTS IN ABIA AND ENUGU STATES
The Commission met today, Monday 20th March 2023 and reviewed the conduct of the Governorship and State Assembly elections held nationwide on Saturday 18th March 2023. Arising from the meeting, the Commission took the decision to suspend forthwith further collation of the Governorship election results in some parts of Abia and Enugu States.
It will be recalled that our office in Obingwa Local Government Area was invaded by thugs yesterday Sunday 19th March 2023 and our officials held hostage in relation to the collation of results from the Local Government Area. Similarly, reports from Enugu State call for a review of the results for the Governorship election from the two outstanding Local Government Areas of Nsukka and Nkanu East.
Consequently, the Commission hereby suspends the collation of results in Obingwa Local Government Area of Abia State and the two outstanding Local Government Areas of Enugu State which are yet to be collated. A review will be undertaken immediately before the process is concluded.
We appeal for the understanding and patience of voters, parties and candidates in the affected States.
Barr. Festus Okoye
National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee
Monday 20th March 2023