The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) suspended ongoing governorship election in nine wards over reported incidences of electoral malpractices in Ogori-Magongo local government area of Kogi state.
In a statement signed by INEC Nationer Commissioner, Mohammed Kudu Haruna, the electoral umpire said it took the decision after reviewing reports of incident of result sheets completed before voting.
The reports indicated that the incidents occurred in Adavi, Ajaokuta, Ogori/Magongo, Okehi and Okene Local Government Areas.
“The most serious incidents occurred in Ogori/Magongo, affecting nine of 10 Registration Areas. This is entirely unacceptable. Any result not emanating from the Commission’s process in the Polling Units will not be accepted.
“The Commission is determined not to reward bad behaviour. Consequently, the election in the nine Wards in Ogori/Magongo LGA (Eni, Okibo, Okesi, Ileteju, Aiyeromi, Ugugu, Obinoyin, Obatgben and Oturu) is at this moment suspended,” he said.
The INEC Commissioner confirmed that reported incidences in the other Local Government Areas are being thoroughly investigated, and the outcome, including the way forward, will be announced in the next 24 hours.
“Meanwhile, as the processes continue, we follow the audit trail of personnel and materials to ascertain those who may have been complicit in undermining the process. We have a record of all officials deployed at various levels as supervisors, monitors, technical staff or polling unit officials and all election materials issued to them.
“Appropriate sanctions will be applied where necessary.
INEC assured voters in Kogi State that their votes are protected, and their wishes will be respected.