The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has made a significant announcement, opting to suspend elections in nine wards within Kogi State due to reported cases of electoral malpractice.
This decision, communicated by the National Commissioner and Member of the Information and Voter Education Committee, Mohammed Kudu Haruna, was released in a statement on Saturday night.
According to the statement, INEC officials in Kogi State have reported instances of electoral malpractice, with a particular focus on the completion of result sheets before the commencement of the voting process.
The affected wards are all located in the Ogori/Magongo Local Government Area of the state, namely Eni, Okibo, Okesi, Ileteju, Aiyeromi, Ugugu, Obinoyin, Obatgben, and Oturu.
Haruna emphasised the severity of the situation, stating, “The most serious incidents occurred in Ogori/Magongo, affecting nine of the 10 registration areas. This is entirely unacceptable.
Any result not emanating from the Commission’s process in the polling units will not be accepted.”
In a clear stance against malpractice, the Commission is resolute in not rewarding what it deems “bad behavior.” Consequently, the ongoing election in the nine wards of Ogori/Magongo LGA is temporarily suspended. Investigations into incidents in other local government areas, including Adavi, Ajaokuta, Ogori/Magongo, Okehi, and Okene, are currently underway.
The outcome of these investigations, along with the plan for the way forward, will be disclosed within the next 24 hours.
The INEC’s commitment to the integrity of the electoral process is evident, as it diligently explores the circumstances surrounding these reported incidents.
The Commission assures the public that appropriate measures will be taken to ensure accountability and maintain the credibility of the electoral system.
As developments unfold, INEC remains steadfast in its pursuit of fair and transparent elections in Kogi State.
Appropriate sanctions will be applied where necessary. The Commission assures voters in Kogi State that their votes are protected and their wishes will be respected.