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Monday, 21 March 2016

Rivers Rerun Election Suspended, Few Results declared - INEC

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has suspended all actions on the legislative rerun election in Rivers state over irregularities that marred the exercise.

Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi, INEC’s director in charge of voter education and publicity, disclosed this in a statement, but said the suspension does not affect constituencies where the exercise has been completed and results declared by the returning officers.

Results have been declared in 10 constituencies, with the Peoples Democratic Party winning in nine, leaving the All Progressives Congress (APC) with one.

The constituencies where the PDP won are: Degema, Akuku Toru I, Akuku Toru II Ahoada East I, Ahoada East II, Emohua, Omuma, Obio/Akpor I Obio/Akpor II, while the emerged victorious only in Opobo/Nkoro.

Uzzi said the elections proceedings will continue after the receipt of a comprehensive report from INEC’s field officials and monitors.

“Some of these elections witnessed the disruption of the process, including the barricading of some of the INEC local government offices and registration area centres (RACs) used for the distribution of electoral materials which led to the late commencement of the exercise in some places and consequently, its smooth take off,” the statement read.

“Of more serious concern was the level of threats, violence and intimidation of election officials and voters by well-armed thugs and miscreants allegedly acting on behalf of some politicians, which marred the elections in some areas.

“There were reports of numerous attacks resulting in fatalities, kidnappings, ballot snatching, diversion of officials and materials, amongst others, which necessitated its suspension in eight Local Government Areas.

“Regrettably, such deviant behaviour has continued today. Several permanent and ad hoc staff engaged have been attacked, again resulting in fatalities, while some have been forcibly abducted and taken to presently unknown destinations.

“Having reviewed the situation, the commission is compelled to suspend all further action concerning the exercise in all the other constituencies in the State pending the receipt of a comprehensive report from its field officials and monitors.

“For the avoidance of doubt, it should be noted that the suspension does not affect the constituencies where the exercise has been completed and the results declared by the returning officers.”
INEC had earlier suspended election in eight local government areas over widespread violence.

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