The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has suspended elections in certain locations within Kogi State due to reported instances of electoral malpractices. Mohammed Haruna, National Commissioner and Member of the Information and Voter Education Committee at INEC, issued a statement on Saturday, revealing that the Commission had received reports from its officials in Kogi State detailing incidents of electoral malpractices, notably the completion of result sheets before the commencement of voting in the governorship election.
Haruna emphasized that the reported incidents took place in Adavi, Ajaokuta, Ogori/Magongo, Okehi, and Okene Local Government Areas. The most severe infractions were observed in Ogori/Magongo, impacting nine out of ten Registration Areas.
Expressing strong disapproval, Haruna declared such actions as entirely unacceptable, asserting that any results not originating from the Commission’s processes at the Polling Units would be rejected. Consequently, he announced the suspension of the election in the nine Wards in Ogori/Magongo LGA (Eni, Okibo, Okesi, Ileteju, Aiyeromi, Ugugu, Obinoyin, Obatgben, and Oturu).
Haruna further explained that investigations into incidents in other Local Government Areas are ongoing, and the outcomes, along with the way forward, will be disclosed within the next 24 hours.
As the processes continue, INEC is diligently tracing the audit trail of personnel and materials to identify any complicity in undermining the electoral process. Haruna assured the public that the Commission maintains records of all deployed officials and election materials, and appropriate sanctions will be applied where necessary. He concluded by assuring voters in Kogi State that their votes are protected, and their preferences will be duly respected.