Go to tribunal, INEC tells aggrieved politicians

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INECThe Independent National Electoral Commission has asked aggrieved politicians to take their grievances to the election petition tribunals.The commission said that though some pockets of violent incidents were recorded during Saturday’s governorship and State Houses of Assembly elections, it still maintained that the exercise recorded a pass mark.The electoral body stated this in a statement issued in Abuja on Sunday.

It said that INEC’s records showed that there were 66 reports of violent incidents targeted at polling units, the commission’s officials, voters and election materials.

The elections were held in 29 states, while the state Houses of Assembly elections were held in 36 states.

No election took place in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

It said its general assessment showed that the elections went well across the country.

The commission said that preliminary reports it got showed that 88.9 per cent of polling units opened for accreditation between 8am and 10am across the country and that only 5.2 per cent had yet to open as of 1 pm.

Also, it claimed that 73 per cent of the polling units had commenced voting by 2.30 pm.

The commission said, “The process of accreditation with Smart Card Readers was also successful in a majority of the polling units.

“Initial challenges were recorded in Edo and Abia states, but the technical teams deployed to support the states were able to resolve the issues in a timely manner.”

Overall, it said that many parts of the country remained relatively peaceful during the elections, but claimed that some states, however, recorded a significant number of violent incidents.

It listed states that were mostly affected as Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Ebonyi and Ondo states.

The electoral body said, “INEC’s records show that there were 66 reports of violent incidents targeted at polling units, the commission’s officials, voters and election materials.

“These were in Rivers State (16 incidents), Ondo (eight), Cross River and Ebonyi (six each), Akwa Ibom (five) Bayelsa (four), Lagos and Kaduna (three each), Jigawa, Enugu, Ekiti and Osun (two each), Katsina, Plateau, Kogi, Abia, Imo, Kano and Ogun (one each).

“The commission is investigating these incidents and will do everything within its powers to bring the culprits to justice.”

INEC commended Nigerians for once again demonstrating their resolve and commitment to participate in the electoral process and by doing so, contributing to deepening democracy in our country.

The commission called on every citizen to maintain the peace “as the results of the governorship and state Houses of Assembly elections are being processed, and to accept the official outcomes.

“It would like to emphasize that winners can only emerge after collation of the official results and on the basis of the requirements prescribed by the legal framework.

“Any aggrieved persons or groups are encouraged to seek redress at the tribunals.”

INEC reminded all stakeholders that the process was not yet completed and urged restraint in their comments, as it strived to bring the process to an orderly, peaceful and credible conclusion.

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