- INEC says the collation officer for the March 9 polls in Cross River who absconded, won’t be paid
- The electoral commission said a similar incident occurred during the presidential and National Assembly elections
- INEC also said security agents performed creditably well during the March 9 elections
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it would not pay a collation officer for the Saturday, March 9 governorship and House of Assembly elections in Cross River, who absconded.
The resident electoral commissioner in the state, Dr Frankland Briyai, made this known on Monday, March 11 in Calabar, while speaking with newsmen after the declaration of results of the polls, NAN reports.
Legit.ng gathers that he said that the collation officer was assigned to Calabar South local government area, but was later discovered to have disappeared.
He said that he could understand why the official absconded from the job, saying that the fellow was absent at the collation centre and his whereabouts unknown.
“The fact is that this did not just happen in Calabar South. We had experienced similar incident in the presidential and National Assembly elections, so, we always have a back-up in case something like this happens.
“The absence of the collation officer has no implications other than that he is not going to be paid,” he said.
According to Briyai, the Cross River governorship and House of Assembly elections were free and fair.
He said: “You could see the credibility of the process because after the announcement of the result by the state’s returning officer, Prof Akim Ibhadode, there was no opposition from any political party.
“To the best of my knowledge, throughout the voting process in the state, nobody died, though we heard some information of people burning houses in Yakurr local government area.
“Besides that, the security agents performed creditably well.
“Violence you know is perpetuated by humans; it could happen anywhere. There is no 100 percent security in any country in the world.”
On his part, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) agent at the state collation centre, Asuquo Ekpeyong, told journalists that his party was satisfied with the outcome of the elections.
“The people have spoken; they have given their mandate to His Excellency, Governor Ben Ayade, returning him to office for another four years to continue the good works of his administration.
“The process was extremely transparent and it moved very swiftly since we started the collation process yesterday,” he said.
In the result declared by the returning officer, PDP won the governorship race with 381,484 votes. The All Progressive Congress (APC), which fielded Senator John Owan-Enoh as candidate, polled 131,161 votes.
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Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that the Independent National Electoral Commission removed Prof Musa Izam, the collation officer it assigned to Bokkos local government of Plateau.
Izam, a physics lecturer at the University of Jos, had earlier attempted to abscond without declaring the results of Saturday February 23 presidential and National Assembly elections, but was apprehended by youths in the area, who forced him back to the collation centre.
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