Nigeria Decides 2023

Drama As Melaye, Ihedioha, Others Stage Walkout At Collation Centre

Muhammed Abubakar, Reporting

TWO agents of the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, on Monday stormed out of the National Collation Centre for the presidential election results at the International Conference Centre in Abuja.

A member of the 8th National Assembly from Kogi West Senatorial District, Dino Melaye; and a former governor of Imo State, Emeka Ihedioha; an agent of the Labour Party, amongst others, staged a walkout on the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mahmood Yakubu, over dissatisfaction on the process of the collation of results from State Collation Officers for the presidential election (SCOPs).

The drama ensued around 4:30p.m at the resumed collation exercise of the February 25 presidential election results for the second day.

Melaye, Ihedioha, as well as the agents of the Labour Party and others, had, earlier, complained that the results presented by INEC SCOPs weren’t uploaded on the commission’s Results Viewing Portal (IReV), as repeatedly promised by the electoral umpire before the February 25 presidential poll.

Melaye had argued strongly that without the upload of results electronically on IReV, this year’s election is not in any way different from the manual transmission of results done in 2015.

Melaye and others fiercely insisted that the INEC Chairman must not accept the results of Ekiti, alleging that there were incidents of over voting and electoral irregularities.

They contended that the collation of results at the centre is at variance with provisions of the Electoral Act 2022 and that they do not believe in the results presented by the SCOPs.

However, the INEC chairman maintained that there was no over voting in Ekiti and that the results presented by the SCOPs stand. Yakubu also said the process must continue.

In reaction, Melaye, Ihedioha and others stormed out of the national collation centre.

Before the break, Mahmood had cautioned Melaye not to be “disruptive” of the collation process at the insistence of the PDP chieftain that the results announced by the SCOPs should first have been uploaded on IReV for transparency and accountability.

The collation of results in Abuja has since continued in their absence.

Many party leaders have bitterly complained that INEC officials at the polling units were unable to upload election results to the IReV.

The IReV and the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) are new technologies introduced by the electoral body for the accreditation and electronic transmission of votes for this year’s polls.

Elections for the office of the President, 360 House of Representatives and 109 Senatorial seats were held in the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory on Saturday and Nigerians expect the declaration of results by the electoral umpire.

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