The Independent National Electoral Commission has announced the suspension of elections in nine wards in Kogi State, citing reports of electoral malpractice.
The nine wards are in the Ogori/Magongo Local Governemennt Area of the state. They are Eni, Okibo, Okesi, Ileteju, Aiyeromi, Ugugu, Obinoyin, Obatgben and Oturu.
This was contained in a statement by the National Commissioner & Member, Information and Voter Education Committee, Mohammed Kudu Haruna, released on Saturday night.
“The Commission has received reports from our officials in Kogi State on incidences 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 statement partly read.
It added, “The Commission is determined not to reward bad behaviour. 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. The incidences in the other Local Government Areas are being thoroughly investigated, and the outcome, including the way forward, will be announced in the next 24 hours.
The commission, however, assured voters in Kogi State that their votes are protected, and their wishes will be respected.