The Electoral body, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has suspended election in nine Registration Areas (RAs) in Kogi over electoral malpractices.
INEC confirmed this in a statement issued by Malam Mohammed Haruna, National Commissioner and Member, Information and Voter Education Committee, on Saturday.
Haruna noted that INEC received reports from its officials in Kogi on incidents of electoral malpractices, particularly the incident of result sheets completed before voting.
“Reports indicate that the incidents occurred in Adavi, Ajaokuta, Ogori/Magongo, Okehi and Okene Local Government Areas. The most serious incidents occurred in Ogori/Magongo, affecting nine of 10 Registration Areas.
“This is entirely unacceptable. Any result not emanating from the Commission’s process in the Polling Units will not be accepted.
“The Commission is determined not to reward bad behavior. Consequently, the election in the nine Wards in Ogori/Magongo LGA (Eni, Okibo, Okesi, Ileteju, Aiyeromi, Ugugu, Obinoyin, Obatgben and Oturu) is at this moment suspended,” he said.
Haruna affirmed that the incidents in the other local government areas were being thoroughly investigated, and the outcome, including the way forward, would be announced in the next 24 hours.
“Meanwhile, as the processes continue, we follow the audit trail of personnel and materials to ascertain those who may have been complicit in undermining the process.
“We have a record of all officials deployed at various levels as supervisors, monitors, technical staff or polling unit officials and all election materials issued to them. Appropriate sanctions will be applied where necessary,“ he said.
Haruna assured voters in Kogi that their votes were protected and their wishes would be respected.