The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Nigeria says it hopes to address the lapses witnessed in Saturday’s election to ensure it will not recur on April 11.
The chairman of the commission, Professor Attahiru Jega, told reporters in Abuja on Sunday that the lapses witnessed in the election were more than what the commission had anticipated.
“We’ll ensure they don’t occur in April,” Jega said.
The chairman of the INEC told reporters that the commission had started investigations into what accounted for the difficulties with the Card Readers.
He also said that the commission would investigate reports of underage voting from Taraba, stressing that the INEC had instructed that the officials involved should be identified.
“Underage voting is against the law. We are investigating reports and will take measures once this is established.”
The Chairman of the INEC told the reporters that the commission had received a letter from the All Progressives Congress, calling for the cancellation of elections in Rivers State.
“We are thoroughly investigating this and after the investigation, we will brief the political parties of our findings.
“If we find out that our staff are involved in any illegal acts, they will be investigated and penalised according to the law,” Professor Jega said.
After card readers failed to read finger prints in some polling units, the commission issued supplementary guidelines to enable officials perform manual accreditation in Osun, Kebbi, Ekiti, Adamawa, Borno, Jigawa, Anambra, Akwa Ibom and Ebonyi.
Although collation of results are still ongoing in different states, there have been reports of results on social media, a development the INEC chairmen told the reporters to disregard.
Professor Jega emphasised that “only the INEC is empowered by law to announce results and it is an offence for anyone to pre-empt the commission in this regard”.
He further said that the commission was was pleased that the elections went on smoothly across the country including the north-east where Internally Displaced Persons in Adamawa Borno and Yobe voted.
“We hope good conduct will continue to prevail throughout the election period as well.
The commission commended Nigerians for the resilience and understanding exhibited in the face of these difficulties.
“According to the reports from our state offices, collation of results has commenced and it is going well,” Professor Jega said.
He said that results of the election should be expected 48 hours after the elections have been concluded.