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Kogi guber: INEC suspends election in 9 wards

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has suspended election in nine wards in Kogi State over electoral malpractice in Saturday’s governorship election in the state.

The nine wards, which are in the Ogori/Magongo Local Government Area of Kogi State, are Eni, Okibo, Okesi, Ileteju, Aiyeromi, Ugugu, Obinoyin, Obatgben, and Oturu.

INEC noted that any result not emanating from its process in Polling Units in these wards will not be accepted.

The electoral umpire made this known in a statement issued by its National Commissioner and Member, Information and Voter Education Committee, Mohammed Kudu Haruna, on Saturday night.

Haruna stated: “The Commission has received reports from our officials in Kogi State on incidences of electoral malpractices, particularly the incident of result sheets completed before voting.

“Reports indicate that the incidents occurred in Adavi, Ajaokuta, Ogori/Magongo, Okehi and Okene Local Government Areas. The most serious incidents occurred in Ogori/Magongo, affecting nine of 10 Registration Areas.

“This is entirely unacceptable. Any result not emanating from the Commission’s process in the Polling Units will not be accepted.

“The Commission is determined not to reward bad behaviour. Consequently, the election in the nine Wards in Ogori/Magongo LGA (Eni, Okibo, Okesi, Ileteju, Aiyeromi, Ugugu, Obinoyin, Obatgben and Oturu) is at this moment suspended.

“The incidences in the other Local Government Areas are being thoroughly investigated, and the outcome, including the way forward, will be announced in the next 24 hours.

“Meanwhile, as the processes continue, we follow the audit trail of personnel and materials to ascertain those who may have been complicit in undermining the process.

“We have a record of all officials deployed at various levels as supervisors, monitors, technical staff or polling unit officials and all election materials issued to them. Appropriate sanctions will be applied where necessary.”

The INEC official, however, assured voters in Kogi State that their votes would be protected, saying their wishes would also be respected.

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