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9 April 2015

Election observers allege discrepancies in Anambra polls

Awka — THE Coalition of INEC accredited election observers for 2015 general elections in Anambra State yesterday released the reports for the March 28, 2015, general elections, saying there were noticeable discrepancies between results declared at the polling units and the collation centers.

According to the report, the development highlighted the weakness of the collation process, which gave room for manipulation.
Leader of the group, Mr. Chris Azor, who read the report to reporters in Awka, said the election observers had recommended that votes cast in the polling units be cross-checked to tally with results posted at the collation centers.

Azor said: “Due to the observed irregularities and malpractices, culminating in the mutilation of recoded result and outright falsification of figures, thereby awarding fictitious ballots to the wrong person, we call for immediate review of the declared results and subsequent declaration of the authentic winners.

“While we fully support the transition from manual to biometric accreditation of voters introduced by INEC, we are however concerned by reports of challenges with the accreditation process, resulting in the suspension of the use of card readers and reversal to manual accreditation.

“This failure has undermined the full benefit anticipated by the use of biometric technology and imposed unnecessary hardship on Nigerians. We call on INEC to make clear what guidelines will govern the accreditation process during the 11 April , 2015 elections.

“We are also concerned about the reports of interference in the electoral process in some areas in the state and the reports of failure by security agencies to prevent this. The developments raise concern that the collation of results may be compromised if appropriate actions are not taken to safeguard the credibility of the exercise.

“We appeal to political parties and politicians to exercise restraint and desist from the use of violence in the electoral process and urge security agencies and officials to conduct themselves according to established standards of professional conduct.”
Azor also observed that election petition tribunals ought to have started operation and wondered why they had not taken off in the state weeks after the presidential and National Assembly elections.

He warned against the practice of installing the wrong persons into elective offices, in view of its obvious negative implication on good governance, accountability and peaceful coexistence.

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