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EU releases report on Sokoto, Benue, Plateau, Bauchi, Kano supplementary elections





- The European Union Election Observation Mission reportedly commend INEC for improving electoral procedures and logistics during the re-run elections

- The EUEOM also commented on the use of smart card readers and other crucial issues concerning the re-run elections in five states

- The chief observer, Maria Arena, will return in June to present the mission’s final report

The European Union Election Observation Mission (EUEOM) to Nigeria has commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for improving electoral procedures and logistics following the March 23 supplementary governorship election.

In a statement released in Abuja on Monday, March 25, EU EOM explained logistical arrangements and procedures were mostly followed in areas observed by the mission, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.

“INEC improved logistical arrangements with most polling units observed, open within half an hour of the official opening time.

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“In the polling units that could be fully observed, there were improved logistical arrangements and procedures were mostly followed.”

“Smart card readers were used to accredit voters in all polling units observed.

“However, manual accreditation procedures were not always correctly followed if card readers failed to authenticate fingerprints.”

The group observed that collation process was followed and finalised within 24 hours in many states.

“The collation process was finalised in Bauchi, Benue, Plateau and Sokoto within 24 hours, but in Kano it was suspended for several hours due to concerns over the safety of lower-level collation staff.

“For security reasons, collation of results in two of 29 LGAs in Kano had to be undertaken at the state collation centre.

“Similarly, ward collation had to be undertaken at one Local Government Area (LGA) in Bauchi.

“EU observers noted that overall collation procedures were followed and the process was generally transparent.”

The mission added that the media played a vital role in enhancing the credibility of the election.

“Adding to transparency of the process, the media provided live coverage of state-level collation.

“Positively, national and state-level media in Benue, Plateau and Sokoto regularly updated the public about the supplementary elections.

“Media and social network users also scrutinized and debated the use of state resources in the days before the supplementary elections.”

The chief observer, Maria Arena, will return in June to present the mission’s final report, which will include recommendations for future electoral processes.

EU observers visited 12 collation centres and observed party agents present in all.

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In a related development, Legit.ng previously reported that the Coalition of INEC Accredited Observers for the Kano state re-run supplementary governorship election hailed the electoral commission for distributing the election materials on time.

The leader of the group, Ambassador Chinyere Manukwem, made the commendation while addressing newsmen in Kano on Sunday, March 24.

Manukwem represented the Global Initiative for Civic Training and Youth Development, one of the 18 observer groups accredited by INEC.

She said the commendation was necessary because the distribution of both sensitive and non-sensitive materials was done in good time.

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