The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has released the report of a committee sent to probe the disruption of the collation process of the Bauchi governorship and state assembly elections.
Below is a statement signed by Festus Okoye, National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee of INEC on Friday revealing the committee’s report.
March 15, 2019.
1. On the 12th day of March 2019, the INEC considered a report submitted by Resident Electoral Commissioner for Bauchi state on the disruption of the collation process at the Tafawa Balewa Collation Centre which led to the cancellation of results for the entire local government.
2. The commission found that there are issues that need further investigation and set up a committee for that purpose.
3. The findings are as follows:
a. The governorship and state assembly elections were held on the 9th of March 2019 in Tafawa Balewa Local Government Area and the votes scored by candidates were announced at the polling units and collated at the 11 registration areas of the LG.
b. Halfway into the LG collation, armed gangs attacked the collation centre and destroyed the LG result sheet (EC8C) and some collated results from the registration areas. The results of 7 out of 11 registration areas for the governorship and 6 out 11 for state assembly elections were affected.
c. INEC guideline provides that where violent disruption affects collation in this manner, results should be generated from duplicate copies on a replacement result sheet.
f. The investigation committee established that the results in polling units and registration areas are available and in safe custody.
g. The investigation committee also established that the number of cancelled votes for the four polling units in Ningi LGA which was recorded 25,330 in form EC40G (1) was incorrect. The actual figure is 2,553.
4. Consequently, the commission has taken the following decisions:
a. Approved the resumption and conclusion of the collation of results of Tafawa Balewa Local Government Area in relation to the governorship election as the duplicate and original registration area results are available.
b. Approved the resumption, conclusion and announcement of the result of the Tafawa Balewa Constituency.
c. The appointment of a new Collation/Returning Officer for Tafawa Balewa LG to continue and conclude the collation process in place of the original collation officer who withdrew from the exercise citing threats to her life and those of her family members.
d Collation process for Tafawa Balewa Local Government Area will resume on Tuesday 19th March 2019.
e. The commission directed that the error in the total number of cancelled votes in four polling units in Ningi KLGA should be corrected from 25,330 to 2,533.
5. The Commission appeals to all stakeholders for continuous support and understanding.
Festus Okoye Esq.
National Commissioner and Chairman
Information and Voter Education Committee.
March 15, 2019.