- INEC took an important and wise decision on the Ekiti East bye-election which turned very violent on Saturday, March 20
- The electoral commission halted the poll till further notice
- According to INEC, carrying on with the election will mean supporting thuggery, violence, and criminality
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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Saturday, March 20, suspended the Ekiti East bye-election indefinitely following the violence that characterised it.
INEC's leadership made this drastic decision known through Festus Okoye, its national commissioner and chairman of information and voter education committee.
From the commission's report in which it described the situation as unacceptable, it was revealed that some innocent voters were shot dead, while a policeman, INEC regular, and ad hoc staff members sustained gunshot injuries.
Nigeria's electoral umpire tweeted:
“The situation is unacceptable. In its avowed commitment to electoral integrity, the commission has suspended the election indefinitely.
"To continue with the process will amount to rewarding bad behaviour. The security agencies are aware of this unfortunate situation and have commenced investigation.
“The commission commiserates with the innocent victims of this dastardly act and affront to our democracy.”
Earlier, the State House of Assembly bye-election in Ekiti on Saturday, March 20 turned violent and nearly claimed the life of a sitting senator.
Legit.ng gathered that thugs invaded Senator Olujimi's Ward 7, Unit 7 polling centre just about three hours into the electoral process to choose a replacement lawmaker for Ekiti East Constituency one.
The report said three people including a policewoman were reportedly killed by the thugs. Another five people are said to be injured and receiving treatment at a private hospital.
The police have yet to release an official statement on the incident or to identify the officer who was allegedly killed or the other two victims of the vicious attack.
It was also claimed that the thugs who carried out the mayhem were sponsored by one of the country's major political parties.
Onyirioha Nnamdi is a graduate of Literature and English Language at the University of Lagos. He is a Politics/Current Affairs Editor who writes on news and political topics for Legit.ng. He brings into his reporting a wealth of experience in creative and analytical writing. Nnamdi has a major interest in local and global politics.