INEC pledges free, fair by-elections in Cross River

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has expressed its readiness for the conduct of free and fair by-elections for Ogoja/Yala Federal Constituency and Akpabuyo State Constituency in Cross River State.

INEC national commissioner, Festus Okoye, stated this yesterday in Calabar, shortly before movement of sensitive materials from the Central Bank of Nigeria in Calabar to the areas involved in today’s by-elections, stressing that the process of the elections would be hitch-free.

Okoye said as at Thursday, political parties and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) inspected the electoral materials deposited at the CBN where they were confirmed to be authentic.

He stated that three resident commissioners from Oyo, Edo and Enugu State would supervise each of the three local government areas.

He said, “Each of the resident commissioners will supervise one LGA and they are signing the result sheet for their specific LGA, this is because we want to guarantee the integrity of the result sheets.

“We are going to make sure that we monitor the movement of our result sheets from the polling units up to the registration areas and the LGA levels.

“We have no fear as we have done due diligence in the process and have trained the necessary manpower needed for the election.

“The security agencies are here to escort the materials to the various venues for the by-elections and political parties, CSOs are free to follow these materials to the last destination.”

The INEC commissioner maintained that only voters whose names appear on the register during the 2019 general elections are qualified to vote.

Okoye added that the commission had placed a ban on incident forms as they now use the Bio model Voter Accreditation System (BEVA) customised for each polling unit.

Cross River State party chairman of PFP, Mr Venatius Ikem, expressed satisfaction  with the process after inspecting and confirming the election materials.

The party chairman urged everyone involved in the process to conduct themselves in a peaceful and lawful manner for conduct of a free and fair exercise

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