Ekiti Assembly Rejects Election Results | US Observers Say It “Fell Short Of Global Standards”
Legislators of the Ekiti State House of Assembly on Tuesday condemned and rejected the result of last Saturday governorship election as declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The lawmakers also adjourned sitting till October 8, 2018, due to alleged harassment of members by security agents.
The adjournment followed a motion moved by the Leader of Business, Akinyele Olatunji.
In his comment during plenary, Olatunji, who described the process leading to the election and final results as unfortunate, further condemned the harassment of Governor Ayodele Fayose, and the Peoples Democratic Party leaders across the state and members of the state assembly by security men.
In the same vein, the Chairman, House Committee on Information, Samuel Omotoso, said the election did not meet all democratic credentials.
He pointed out that the election was marred by outright brigandage, vote buying and falsification of results.
Also speaking, the Deputy Whip, Ekundayo Akinleye, said that the outcome of the election had shown that Nigerians should not expect free and fair elections in 2019.
The Speaker of the Assembly, Kola Oluwawole, described the election as a show of shame with thugs and security men openly working for the opposition All Progressives Congress.
A coalition of domestic and international election observers accredited to observe the governorship poll which held on July 14, said the election fell short of global best practices and electoral standards.
The observers stated that the conduct of some of the security operatives and unwholesome practices of vote buying — where voters surreptitiously showed which party they voted to party agents who went behind to settle them, largely marred the electoral process.
They also said the election was characterised by ballot box snatching, sporadic shootings and driving away of some party agents as well as intimidation, oppression and forceful influence of electorate’s free will, among others.
The observers, therefore, held that the July 14 poll could not be recommended as a template for the forthcoming 2019 general elections as it fell short of global standards and spelt doom.
In her submission, International observers, Mrs Virginia Marumoa-Gae, of the IRI, USA, stated that trouble started at 11am when “see and buy” started and this caused chaos across all the wards and polling units.
According to her, “Voters showed their ballot papers to party agents to collect money, thugs disrupted the voting process by shooting, but the police and other attaching security agents did well by establishing their presence at the polling units as stipulated by the constitution. We also noted that the INEC has improved on card readers this time.”