Friday, March 8, 2019

No Certificate Of Return For Candidates Declared Winner Under Duress – INEC

The Independent National Electoral Commission has said it will not issue Certificates of Return to candidates in places where its officials are held hostage or forced to declare winners under duress in the governorship and state Houses of Assembly elections on Saturday (tomorrow).

The commission also threatened to record zero vote and cancel the results of polling units where its personnel deliberately failed to deploy the Smart Card Readers.

The Chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, said this on Thursday during the meeting of the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security held at the commission’s Conference Room in Abuja.

Yakubu said, “The commission is concerned that many of our materials, including ballot boxes, voting cubicles, voter registers and Smart Card Readers were lost to acts of hooliganism and thuggery in the elections held two weeks ago. Most worrisome is the attack on electoral officials.

“Some of our staff were abducted and taken hostage in an attempt to disrupt elections or influence the outcome. In fact, some of the supplementary elections were caused by such acts of thuggery.

“I am confident that working together with the security agencies, we will consolidate the largely peaceful conduct of the Presidential and National Assembly elections while also taking decisive steps to deal with the minority of violators’ intent on disrupting the conduct of peaceful elections.

“However, the commission will not tolerate the act of holding our officials hostage and forcing them to declare winners under duress. Where such occurs, the commission will not reward bad behaviour by issuing them Certificates of Return.

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