June 21, 2024

INEC bars party agents, journalists from collation centre in Lagos

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INEC bars party agents, journalists from collation centre in Lagos

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) officials at Somolu Local Government Area of Lagos State barred journalists, party agents and observers from the collation centre.

As against the practice of collating results publicly in the interest of fairness, the returning officer of the Governorship and House of Assembly Elections, took the results from the wards to an inner office where she and some selected persons carried out the exercise.

Journalists and observers who had converged on the collation centre at the end of voting and polling units collation on Saturday were denied access to the inner office.

Those at the inner office spent long hours working on the results from the ward.

At about 4:58 am on Sunday, the returning officer alongside police escorts left the INEC LGA office at Somolu with the results.

It is unclear if they were headed for the state collation centre at Birrel Avenue, Yaba, as they refused to address the media.

Although party agents were not allowed in the inner office where the selective collation took place, they were later to sign and obtain duplicate sheets.

An observer, who spoke off the record for the fear of being victimised, said, “After spending the night outside at the INEC office, I was able to get a result snapshot from an official whom I had met in the last presidential election. The person was invited to the inner office.”

Somolu is one of the LGAs that the ruling party lost to the opposition in the presidential election. Activities will kick off at the State Collation Centre by 11 am, according to an earlier announcement by the electoral commission.

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