There have been widespread reports of card reader malfunction in the ongoing Ondo State governorship election.
Journalists monitoring the exercise at various polling units report that the situation appear to be the same across the state.
Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Eyitayo Jegede, accused the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, of flooding his constituency in Akure with the malfunctioning card readers in order to stop his supporters from voting.
Jegede spoke after casting his vote at the polling unit in the Cathedral Area of Akure.
The PDP candidate said that many of the card readers brought to his constituency in Akure were faulty, and wondered why it was taking INEC so long to replace the malfunctioning machines.
“I have heard reports of the malfunctioning of the card readers. In substantial part of Akure South Local Government, the card readers have been malfunctioning,” Jegede said.
“In some they have changed them, in some others they have not and our people are queuing and unfortunately they have not been able to cast their votes,” he lamented.
The candidate of Alliance for Democracy Olusola Oke, during a phone-in interview on a Radio programme said he got reports of card readers preloaded with about 300 votes at Idi Ogba. Alagbon, Oke Igba.
He said it appeared to be a trend across the state.
At polling Unit 7, Ward 1 Omoniyi 2, Ondo West LGA, one card reader out of the two assigned to the unit malfunctioned, forcing INEC officials to resort to using only one.
In yet another incident, the card reader at Unit 27, Ward 7, Ademulegun/Kola Rewire, had difficulty with voters’ thumbprint.
Since the use of smart card readers was first introduced into Nigeria’s electoral system during the 2015 general election, there have always been issues of the equipment malfunctioning.
The courts on the basis of malfunctioning card readers have nullified not a few elections.