INEC Not Transparent, Lacks Efficient Planning — EU

Ola ‘Kiya, Reporting

THE European Union Election Observation Mission to Nigeria (EU EOM) says the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) lacks transparency in the conduct of the February 25, 2023 presidential election.

The EU gave the damning verdict, noting that voters’ earlier enthusiasm, trust and confidence in INEC before the election decreased due to the manipulation of results alleged by voters.

The report also noted that the ongoing fuel scarcity and cash crunch drastically affected INEC’s operational capacity and that insecurity and pockets of attacks in some local government areas hindered preparations and instilled fear in voters.

“Overall, INEC lacked efficient planning and transparency during critical stages of the electoral process, while on election day, trust in INEC was seen to further reduce due to delayed polling processes and information gaps related to much anticipated access to results on its Results Viewing Portal (IReV),” revealed the report.

“Weak points include a lack of INEC empowerment to enforce sanctions for electoral offences and breaches of campaign finance rules.

“Positively, INEC benefited from more timely financing than previous contests.

“The introduction of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) and the IReV for the 2023 elections was perceived as an important step to ensure the integrity and credibility of elections.

“However, delayed training of technical personnel, an inadequate mock testing exercise, and a lack of public information on the election technologies diminished expectations and left room for speculation and uncertainty.

“During the early stages of collation, presidential result forms from polling units were not displayed on the IReV, while Senate and House of Representative results were slowly published,” the report noted.

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