BY JIMITOTA ONOYUME
PORT HARCOURT – Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Friday attended to complaints of missing result sheets in packs for some local government areas.
Vanguard gathered at the state office of the commission on Aba road that cases of missing result sheets delayed movement of sensitive materials to some of the local government areas on Thursday.
Result sheets for Ward 1 to 6 for the Emohua/Ikwerre federal constituency election for the House of Representatives in Emohua local government area and that of Ward 9, Unit 13 in the same local government were still being traced at the time of this report.
Party agents who spoke to the Vanguard said they had instructions from their party leadership not to make public comment on the issue since the commission was sorting out the problem.
They expressed worries with the missing sheets, stressing that the materials will only move to the local government area when matters of the missing sheets had been resolved.
The Rivers state Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mr Aniedi Ikoiwak told the Vanguard in an exclusive chat that the matter was being resolved.
He said some of the missing sheets found their way into packs for other local government areas, adding that some had been returned intact.
He further explained that there was minimal percentage provision to replace missing result sheets, saying in some cases replacement had been issued.
The state INEC Chief said the result sheets that were used to replace those missing automatically invalidated the missing ones so even when the missing ones are brought back they will only be kept in the office.
He said every sheets used to replace missing ones were properly endorsed to avoid confusion.
The INEC boss also said all cases of missing result sheets will be resolved before the election, adding that there was no cause for alarm.
His words, :” That is what we are recovering from other areas( missing result sheets). During the packaging there were mix up. All what we are doing here is either to find a replacement or collect the ones that are discovered in packs to other areas and returned intact.
(Pointing at a carton). This one contains result sheets that was taken to another area and returned
Some areas that did not see their own initially have seen and have been sent back. The one for Okrika was seen and brought back we had to open for all to see.
We have sent messages to all our men to check their pack. So all missing results will come back. Noting will happen to them
The areas we have done replacements for when eventually they find the original meant for the areas the old ones can no longer replace the one we have used to replace them. We will only keep in the office.
Obio Akpor we have done replacement. So the one that came can no longer be used,
I have told agents to delay a little so we can see if more missing sheets will be sent back from areas that had them mistakenly in their pack. There is a percentage we can replace. The replacements are customised for each polling units. So assuming the number of replacements for a unit is not upto what we have for replacement. So there is a percentage for what can be replaced.
Any replacement automatically becomes the original. It takes the position of the other one. I also endorse the replaced to take the place of the one replaced. “
Party agents said they were satisfied with effort of the commission to redress the problem.