INEC probes 66 violent incidents in 19 states

THE Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)  is probing 66 violent incidents in 19 states during Saturday’s governorship and Houses of Assembly elections.

It vowed to bring the culprits to justice after the conclusion of its investigation.

JegaThe commission, in a statement in Abuja, asked those aggrieved over the results of the elections to seek redress in tribunals instead of taking the laws into their hands.

It, however, claimed that the elections were generally peaceful with 88.9 per cent of polling units opened for accreditation between 8am and 10am.

The statement said: “Overall, many parts of the country remained relatively peaceful during the elections. Some states, however, recorded a significant number of violent incidents, the most affected being Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Ebonyi and Ondo states.

“INEC’s records show that there were 66 reports of violent incidents targeted at polling units, the commission’s officials, voters and election materials.

“These were in Rivers State (16 incidents), Ondo (eight), Cross River and Ebonyi (six each), Akwa Ibom (five) Bayelsa (four), Lagos and Kaduna (three each), Jigawa, Enugu, Ekiti and Osun (two each), Katsina, Plateau, Kogi, Abia, Imo, Kano and Ogun (one each).

“The Commission is investigating these incidents and will do everything within its powers to bring culprits to justice.”

INEC advised those aggrieved about the outcome of the elections to go to tribunals in line with the Electoral Act.

The statement added: “INEC commends Nigerians for once again demonstrating their resolve and commitment to participate in the electoral process and by doing so, contributing to deepening democracy in our country.

“The commission calls on every citizen to maintain the peace as the results of the governorship and State Assembly elections are being processed, and to accept the official outcomes.

“It would like to emphasise that winners can only emerge after collation of the official results and on the basis of the requirements prescribed by the legal framework. Any aggrieved persons or groups are encouraged to seek redress at the tribunals.

“INEC would also like to remind all stakeholders that the process is not yet completed and urges restraint in their comments, as we strive to bring this process to an orderly, peaceful and credible conclusion.”

Notwithstanding, the commission said a general assessment indicated that the elections were smoother and largely peaceful.

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