2011 April Polls Update

April 4, 2011

Botched April Polls: INEC to penalise vendors

By Okey Ndiribe

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has commenced moves to penalise vendors to the commission whose failure to supply electoral materials resulted in the postponement of last Saturday’s elections into the National Assembly.

This was disclosed by Mr Kayode Idowu,  the Chief Press Secretary to the Chairman of the Commission in an interview he granted to several journalists at the Abuja  INEC headquarters , Monday.

He further stated that the commission was adhering to the terms of the contractual agreements between the commission and the vendors which stipulates that  INEC  should not  engage in a media trial before meting out the appropriate penalty to the vendor involved adding that it was for this reason that the commission’s boss refrained from mentioning the name of the actual vendor.

Said he: “Engaging in a media trial is not one of the terms of the contract and will not help the process of penalising anyone who has breached the agreement”.

Commenting further on the possible fall-out of  the postponement of last Saturday’s polls, he dismissed fears that have been expressed in some quarters that electoral materials which may have been smuggled out of various polling units  across the country could be used for cheating when the re-scheduled election holds  Saturday.

According to him: “The voting which took place in some parts of the country before the entire poll was postponed could be described as inconclusive since electoral officials who conducted these exercises did not have result sheets in which to record the outcome of such polls.”

He continued: “Perhaps the intention of such electoral officers was to record the results of the election they conducted in ordinary sheets of paper which was exactly the sham process  the Commission wanted to avoid. So, the commission said no”.

He further stated that an election does not entail just counting the ballot papers cast adding there are series of processes involved.

He further explained that the late arrival of electoral personnel at some of the voting centres across the country was due to the fact that many of them were waiting for the arrival of the electoral materials.