Nigeria Decides 2023: Party agents protest, walk out of national collation centre

Party agents have accused the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of wrongdoings in the Presidential and National Assembly elections held on Saturday, February 25, 2023.

The agent of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dino Melaye, had today at the National Collation Centre in Abuja raised issues about the credibility of the election.

Melaye claimed there was a case of over-voting in Ekiti and blamed the electoral body for its inability to transfer the election result on its result viewing portal (IRev).

The agent of the Labour Party (LP) and some other agents also protested against the pattern of the election result announcement.

Most agents who spoke want the INEC chair to stop the collation process until the issues raised are resolved.

Melaye urged the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mahmood Yakubu, to adjourn the declaration of results for other states and reconvene after the results had been reviewed and double-checked.

In his reaction to the protests, Yakubu appealed for calm and promised that all their grievances would be looked into after the conclusion of the collation.

He added that under the law, he cannot stop the process until the collation was concluded.

He added that there was no over-voting in Ekiti, as alleged by Melaye.

“Thank you very much. We have heard everything that you have said. But I’m going to comment. All three issues. The first one, which was the starting point of all this lengthy conversation, is over the allegation of overvoting in the result presented yesterday from Ekiti State.

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“What is overvoting? Were the total number of votes cast higher than the number of accredited voters?

“Based on the original of the document signed by party agents at state level and the spreadsheet before me, there was no overvoting in the city state.

“The total number of accredited voters 315,058, that is what is on the authentic document. Any other figure that shows anything at variance with this may not emanate from the Commission,” Yakubu said.

He said the Commission provided a detailed breakdown of the score of political parties across the board.

“My second response is: are the figures consistent with what transpired at the polling units?




     

     

    “I like the suggestion made that the Commission has power under the Electoral Act to review results, but that power is contingent upon one procedure.

    “The process has to be concluded first before you can then talk about the power to review.

    “I want to assure political parties of evidence they have of any alleged wrongdoing at any level of the process, whether it is at the polling unit or at collection level, please forward this information, and I promise you, as soon as the process is concluded, we will then do the review as provided by law,” he added.

    At the end of Yakubu’s speech, Melaye and some other party agents walked out of the collation venue, while the INEC chairman continued with the declaration of results.

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