INEC suspends re-run elections in 20 polling units across three states

The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has suspended re-run elections in 20 polling units across Kano, Enugu, and Akwa-Ibom states.

The National Commissioner and Chairman of the Information and Voter Education Committee, Sam Olumekun, disclosed this in a statement on Saturday.

INEC had earlier stated that it was probing election disruptions that occurred during the rerun/by-elections in Enugu, Akwa-Ibom, and Kano states.

The commission said, “Generally, polls opened promptly and accreditation going on smoothly in the 8,934 polling units in 26 states involved in today’s bye-elections and re-run elections.

“However, we are monitoring reported disruption of processes by acts of thuggery and hijacking of materials in some locations in Akwa Ibom, Enugu, and Kano states.”

However, in its latest updates, it stated that the suspension was a result of irregularities and abduction of election officials.

“The Independent National Electoral Commission announces the suspension of ongoing re-run elections in specific constituencies due to disruptions, irregularities, and abduction of election officials. The affected areas are as follows:

“Ikono/Ini Federal Constituency, Akwa Ibom State.

“Suspension of elections in two Polling Units (Village Hall, EdemUrua 003 in Ini LGA and Village Hall Mbiabong Ikot Udo 003 in Ikono LGA) where all election materials were carted away by hoodlums.

“Enugu South 1 State Constituency, Enugu State.

“Suspension of elections in all eight Polling Units where the original results sheets were not available for inspection by voters before the commencement of polls.

“Kunchi/Tsanyawa State Constituency, Kano State.

“Suspension of elections in all ten Polling Units in Kunchi LGA due to invasion, vandalization, and disruption by thugs,” the statement read in part.

The commission noted that the suspension “aligns with the provisions of Section 24(3) of the Electoral Act, 2022,” urging security agencies to investigate the incidents.

“Further necessary measures for the affected constituencies will be announced after the Commission’s meeting on Monday.

“INEC invites the security agencies to investigate the incidents, while the Commission commits to thoroughly interrogating any breaches involving its officials,” INEC added.