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INEC to weigh 4 options on Rivers election on Friday, March 15





- The Independent National Electoral Commission will be meeting on Friday, March 15, to make a decision on the stalemated gubernatorial election in Rivers state

- The disclosure was made by a source who spoke on condition of anonymity

- The source says INEC will be weighing four options on the stalemated governorship election

A meeting has been summoned by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to receive and consider the report of a fact-finding team it sent to Rivers state over the stalemated governorship election in the state.

A source who spoke on condition of anonymity said the electoral umpire would receive the report on Friday, March 15, after which chairman of the commission and his team would consider the findings and make a pronouncement.

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The source said: “The panel on Rivers State will on Friday submit its report to INEC management. Thereafter, the Chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu and his team will consider the findings and make a pronouncement.

“We are aware of the interest which the suspension of the elections in Rivers State has generated and we want to resolve it as soon as possible.”

The Nation reports that there are four options before INEC, which include: whether or not to cancel the governorship and House of Assembly elections in Rivers State;

Restrict conduct of elections only in units, wards or areas affected by violence.

Announcement of collated or retrieved results if the security situation does not permit a fresh poll;

Declaring the results as it were and leaving the aggrieved to go to the tribunal.

Legit.ng gathers that the source said any delay in taking a decision may lead to a constitutional crisis in the state.

The source added: “INEC will be fair, just, equitable and it will be guided by the Electoral Act, 2010( as amended) in its decision on Rivers State.

“The panel has concluded its assignment. Were it not for the issuance of Certificates of Return to senators and Representatives-elect, we would have considered the report on Rivers on Thursday (yesterday).”

Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) suspended the electoral processes in Rivers state citing widespread irregularities.

In a statement signed by Festus Okoye, INEC's national commissioner and chairman of information and voter education committee, the electoral body said it's decision to suspend the elections was based on "reports from our officials on the field".

The statement read: "Based on reports from our officials in the field, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has determined that there has been a widespread disruption of elections conducted on the 9th day of March 2019 in Rivers state.

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"These initial reports suggest that violence occurred in a substantial number of polling units and collation centres, staff have been taken hostage and materials including result sheets have either been seized or destroyed by unauthorised persons. In addition, safety of our staff appears to be in jeopardy all over the state and the commission is concerned about the credibility of the process.

"Consequently, at a meeting held today 10th March 2019, the commission has decided to suspend all electoral processes in the state until further notice. This is in line with Section 26 of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended) and Clause 479e0 of the Regulations and Guidelines of the commission."

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Chuka (Webby) Aniemeka

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