INEC says Sokoto re-run election hitch-free, begins declaration of results

INEC says Sokoto re-run election hitch-free, begins declaration of results

- The rerun elections in Sokoto were reportedly hitch-free

- The INEC in the state confirmed the development as the declaration of results has reportedly begun

- The re-run elections were conducted for Sokoto North/Sokoto South and Isa/Sabon Birni federal constituencies, and others

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says the re-run election in Sokoto was hitch-free with no report of violence or serious challenges.

Malam Musa Muhammad, INEC’s spokesperson in Sokoto told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Saturday, January 25, in Sokoto.

He said preparation for the collation had commenced in some of the areas where the elections were conducted.

Voting reportedly ended in all the places before 3pm and counting of votes commenced immediately.

The situation is, however, different in the rerun elections in Cross River state.

One of the ad hoc staff members of the electoral body in the state has been kidnapped by some gunmen.

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The attackers also left the polling unit with a lot of materials meant for the voting exercise.

INEC's commissioner in charge of south-south region, Mohammed Lecky, confirmed the development.

Lecky revealed to journalists that abducted staff was attacked by the assailant on his way to the Abi constituency, adding that other ad hoc workers who were kidnapped alongside the victim have been released.

Updates from INEC's official Twitter handle indicates that the electoral body's chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, has closed the Situation Room at the commission’s headquarters "after intensive monitoring of the Rerun Elections held in 28 Constituencies across 11 states."

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Similarly, the rerun election in Essien Udim, Akwa Ibom, went awry after INEC officials were allegedly held hostage inside a public secondary school in the area.

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Confirming the news to journalists on Saturday, January 25, Don Etukudoh, INEC's spokesman in the state, said that the officials were held hostage in Independent High School, Ukana.

Meanwhile, the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Mohammed Adamu, ahead of the elections, had ordered that security should be beefed up in all 28 states where rerun elections in federal and state constituencies were conducted.

IGP Adamu, in his directive, ordered all police commissioners in the affected states to ensure thorough security strategies at all INEC offices.

According to Frank Mba, the police spokesperson, the IGP's order was aimed at making sure there was smooth and fair conduct of the polls which all the candidates and parties could attest to.

Mba assured Nigerians that officers of the force will be both professional and avoid political sentiment and bias in carrying out their duties, adding that politicians and well as the voters should put on their best forms of civility throughout and beyond the period.

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