The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has suspended elections in nine wards of Ogori/Magongo Local Government Area of Kogi State.
The suspension comes as the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the Governorship Election, Senator Dino Melaye, has called for the nullification of results in five Local Government Areas.
INEC cited the incidents of electoral malpractices, particularly the incident of result sheets completed before voting.
Earlier in the day, an alarm had been raised by a civil society Organisation and election monitor, YIAGA, on the discovery of pre-filled election results. Melayo followed suit with his own alarm on the same issue in Ogori Magongo LGA.
Mohammed Kudu Haruna, National Commissioner & Member Information and Voter Education Committee of INEC, said other incidents in other Local Government Areas of Kogi are being investigated.
His words, “The Commission has received reports from our officials in Kogi State on incidents 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 Commission assures voters in Kogi State that their votes are protected, and their wishes will be respected”.
Also, a local government chairman in Kogi State Mr. James Onoja, was reportedly arrested by security men on election day with a huge amount of cash by security men.
In a viral post on X, the chairman of Igalamela Local Government Area in Kogi State, was seen in a video sitting on the ground with those arrested with him and a bag, ostensibly containing the cash and ammunition.
Melaye, the PDP candidate, formally requested the annulment of elections in five Local Government Areas through his official X account, listing them as Okene, Okehi, Ajaokuta, Adavi, and Ogori/Magongo.