*Doubts PDP claim of leading in 23 states
*Electoral body not under pressure to declare poll inclusive
The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Attahiru Jega has said that it is not true that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is leading in 23 states or 64 percent of the presidential elections as declared by the party’s presidential campaign organization.
Rather, he said that only results of the presidential elections in two states have been received. He also declared that the commission is not under any pressure to declare the outcome of the presidential election inconclusive, while expressing worry over the violence and crisis in River state, stating that the commission is investigating the crisis in the state and would take a position soon.
The Director of Media and Publicity of the PDP Presidential Campaigns, Femi Fani Kayode had said that the Presidential candidate of his party is winning in 23 states out of 36 states and has 64 percent of the votes cast, but the INEC Chairman said that only results of two states in the presidential elections have been collated. The two states are Ekiti and Ogun.
He therefore warned media houses to beware of publishing results as only the commission has the constitutional powers to announce and declare results. He announced that the results of the presidential results would be announced piece by piece as from Monday by noon in the presence of media and stakeholders.
Warning against the premature publication or announcement of results by unauthorized persons and media houses, Jega said, “Only INEC is empowered by law to announce results and it is an offence for anyone to preempt the commission in this regard.”
The INEC Chairman who expressed worry over the violence in Rivers state, acknowledged that the All Progressives Congress (APC) have petitioned the commission over the crisis, stating that INEC is yet to take a position on the petition calling for the cancellation of the Saturday’s Presidential and National Assembly elections.
According to Jega, “We have received a petition from the APC in Rivers state calling for cancellation of the elections, we are yet to take a position, but we investigating the allegations The commission is concerned on what happened in Rivers state and we will pay attention after investigation.”
Jega declared the outcome of the elections and particularly the use of the Smart Card Readers as successful, said that it is only in 374 polling units out of 155,000 polling units that the card users failed. Accordingly, he said, “statistically, it is insignificant as it is only .25 percent of the card users that failed.”
He named the states where the card users failed to include 90 polling units in Lagos state, 16 polling units in Kebbi state, 25 polling units in Adamawa state, 6 polling units in Niger state, 37 polling units in Yobe state, 8 polling units in Borno state, 37 polling units in Jigawa state, 13 polling units in Kano state, 116 polling units in Taraba state and two polling units in the Federal Capital Teritory.
Though Jega acknowledged that there were some lapses like the substitution of the trained ad hoc staff, under age voters and other electoral malpractices, he said that the commission would investigate such complaints and appropriate sanctions taken against the INEC officials involved.