Ekiti election: Yiaga Africa alleges vote-buying, other discrepancies
As the gubernatorial election in Ekiti State is about rounding up, an election monitoring group under the auspices of Yiaga Africa has revealed some preliminary reports concerning the keenly contested poll.
In its findings undertaken by over 300 adhoc staff deplored to monitor the exercise on Saturday witnessed
Vote buying in Alowodolu/Ojo – The Apostolic P.S Compound with PU code 13/09/04/00 in Ijero Ward D of Ijero LGA.
It alleged that party agents from APC were reportedly sharing N7,000 to voters who showed how their ballot paper was marked. While a similar report on vote buying by APC was received from Open Space At Bamitale Along St. Mary’s Road in Ikere. Including Ogidi – in Ipoti Ward A, party agents from PDP and SDP were seen bribing voters.
Similar incident was also seen at C. A. C. Gramm. Sch. /Ola Oluwa II with PU code 014 in Ado-Ekiti, APC party agent was also reportedly giving N5000 to voters who confirmed they had voted for the party.
The electoral observers also noticed that in the premises of Staff Nur & Pri. School. Balemo, Oke Ila with PU Code 13/01/07/006 in Ado Ekiti as of 12:00 noon neither INEC officials nor materials had arrived at the polling unit.
Their adhoc staff equally noticed that secrecy of the ballot was not upheld as people could see how voters marked the ballots in Igede Ward II 13-13-06-014 in Irepodun/Ifelodun LGA.
It noted that party agents for the APC, PDP and SDP were seen clustering around the voting cubicle and saw how voters marked their ballot papers.
Although the electoral body, Independent National Electoral Commission INEC got some accolades for the use of technology, especially the BVAS: Yiaga Africa said it received reports from its field workers of missing names of registered voters on the BVAS. The voters were prevented from voting despite holding INEC issued PVCs.
While ballot box snatching was recorded in Ilawe Ward IV, near St. Patrick’s School. The incidents were reported in two polling units with codes 13/05/06/005 and 007.
In view of their findings, the Samson Itodo led Yiaga Africa recommended that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) make efforts to publish the disaggregated data of the number of PVCs collected per polling unit before the end of Polls.
It also urged security agencies to ensure security personnel remain professional and non-partisan throughout the election.
“As the election progresses, security personnel should ensure the secrecy of the vote is protected and enforce appropriate sanctions for any form of violation of the Electoral Act on Election Day, especially any threat to the right to vote or attempts to buy votes.
“Security agencies should respect the rights of citizens, media, and observers, including the right to freedom of movement on Election Day for duly accredited observers and media practitioners.
“We commend the EFCC for the arrests made of people buying votes. We call on the officials of EFCC deployed to ensure full prosecution of individuals caught in the act of vote buying/voter inducement.
“Yiaga Africa also commends the good people of Ekiti State for their peaceful conduct during the voting process and pleads that they remain patient and peaceful through the voting and counting process.
“We will provide updates as the voting process comes to an end and the results collation commences. We restate our commitment to sharing accurate data and information on the conduct of the election and results based on its deployment of the Parallel Vote Tabulation methodology.
“If INEC’s official results fall within Yiaga Africa’s estimated rate, then the public, political parties and candidates should have confidence that the official results reflect the ballots cast at the polling units; however, if the announced results have been manipulated and do not match the polling units’ results, we will expose it,” the group stated.
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