2023 GOVERNORSHIP AND
STATE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY ELECTIONS
The NBA, which is the umbrella body of legal practitioners in the country, said its request to INEC was based on reports from over 1000 observers it deployed across the federation.
It disclosed that its observers were drawn from its 128 branches in the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Abuja.
President of the association, Mr. Yakubu Maikyau, SAN, while addressing newsmen at the NBA Election Situation Room in Abuja, noted that though INEC earlier said it would end accreditation of voters by 2:30pm, he maintained that the time should be extended owing to the late arrival of electoral officials and voting materials at various polling centers across the country.
“We believe that allowances should be made to ensure that no one is disenfranchised, especially for those places that materials did not arrive on time.
“At most of the centers, voters turned up early and waited for the electoral officials to arrive.
“Therefore, we will oppose any attempt by INEC to disenfranchise any Nigerian for no fault of his”, the NBA President added.
Besides, the legal body, in its interim statement on the elections, said its observers reported that in over 25% of polling units they covered across the country, there was late arrival of INEC officials and materials.
“In many instances, voters turned out 3 hours or more before the officials and materials arrived.
“As at 11am, there are reports of INEC officials still trying to locate their assigned polling stations.
“Our observers reported that apart from FCT, Ekiti, Lagos and Kaduna states, voting materials arrived more than one hour late in 75% of polling stations. And as at noon, INEC Officials and Voting materials were yet to arrive any of the polling units in Warri South LGA of Delta State.
“We also have reports that in some polling stations in the FCT, INEC officials and materials arrived on time with no voter present. This situation remained so until noon with no indications as to why this was so.
“I call on INEC to make speedy efforts to ensure that polling materials get delivered to all polling units that are yet to receive them, to ensure that voters in those areas are not disenfranchised.
“I have also received reports of challenges with the use of BVAS, particularly in some parts of Rivers, Lagos, Plateau, Kano and Kaduna States, including some part of FCT.
“I make specific reference to Polling Unit number 003 in Asokoro District, opposite the ECOWAS Secretariat. The NBA calls on INEC to immediately mobilise the back-up arrangement and deploy functioning BVAS machine, having in mind the impact of non-functioning or malfunctioning BVAS devices on the election process.
“Apart from the above-highlighted challenges, we have reports that voting is going on well in many parts of the country.
“Our NBA election observers have reported that in about 78% of the polling stations across the country, accreditation and voting have commenced in orderly and peaceful manner.
“We also observed almost 100% compliance with the order restricting vehicular movement across the country. The turn-out of voters in almost all polling units visited by our observers have been quite impressive, indicating popular commitment of Nigerians to exercise their franchise.
“I encourage all stakeholders to strive to ensure fair, free, credible, inclusive and verifiable election. NBA and its members across the country will continue to support INEC and all other stakeholders in the electoral process.
“I commend all NBA observers across the Country and encourage them to continue to report the progress of voting or related incidents from their various locations.
“I also appeal to Nigerians in all polling units where materials either arrived late or are yet to be delivered to exercise patience; no one will be disenfranchised.
“We have made sacrifices to come this far, let us persevere; be calm until materials are made available by INEC”, NBA stated.
Contents provided and/or opinions expressed here do not reflect the opinions of The Pacesetter Frontier Magazine or any employee thereof.
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