By Vincent Ujumadu
Awka- THE Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, said yesterday that materials allegedly found in a hotel in Awka on Monday did not belong to it, insisting that no sensitive election materials meant for the November 18 governorship election were missing.
National chairman of All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, Chief Victor Oye, had alleged that two truckloads of election materials were intercepted by security operatives and that two persons were arrested in connection with the incident.
But the state Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC, Dr. Nwachukwu Orji in a statement in Awka said it was not possible for sensitive materials meant for the election to be delivered in a hotel, adding that there were laid down processes of delivery of such sensitive election materials.
Such processes, according to him, involve strict monitoring of the process by party agents, election observers, security agencies and the media.
Orji said it was customary for the Commission to provide the register to political parties presenting candidates for an election not later than 30 days before an election, adding that in the case of the Anambra governorship poll, this was done in a widely publicised event in Awka on 18 October 2017 during which all the parties present collected the electronic register.
He, however, explained that the register given to political parties by INEC did not have the same details as the one to be used for the governorship election, adding that several fields and security features were not included in the register given to political parties.
He said: “The Commission has had the opportunity to compare the register recovered by the Police and the one meant for the 18th November Anambra State governorship election. It is clear on examination that what the Police recovered appears to have been printed from the electronic register given to the political parties, and not the official register of voters for the governorship election.
“INEC wishes to reassure the public that it will continue to be transparent in its processes. The Commission, therefore, appeals to all stakeholders to confirm their information before going to the press in order not to undermine the peace that has so far prevailed in Anambra State ahead of the governorship election.
“The Commission also wishes to restate its determination and commitment to ensure that the 18th November Anambra State governorship election is free, fair and credible, and solicits the cooperation of the people of the state in this regard.”