The Independent Electoral National Commission on Saturday said it was so far ‘generally satisfied’ with the process and procedure of the Presidential and National Assembly elections.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Festus Okoye, an INEC National Commissioner, and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, made the remarks while briefing newsmen at the National Collation Centre in Abuja.
Okoye said: “As at this moment INEC is generally satisfied with the process and procedures for the conduct of this present election, notwithstanding the challenges relating to the commencement of polls in some polling units.
“When I briefed you earlier in the day, I did say that some polling units opened on time, while some others did not open on time.
“Between 8.00 a.m. and 10.00 a.m. in the morning the summary of the polling units that opened stood at 67.91 per cent, while the polling units that opened after 10.00 a.m. stood at 16.96 per cent.
“So, at this moment we recorded a total of 92.76 per cent of the polling units that opened.”
Okoye said most of the challenges encountered by the commission during the course of the election were resolved on time.
He said: “With regards to the challenges associated with the smart card readers in some polling units, most of these challenges were identified and resolved on time.
“However, it is to be noted that in the regulations and guidelines issued by INEC, it was made very clear that the use of the smart card reader is mandatory.
“Therefore, no staff of the commission or any ad hoc staff of the commission is permitted in whatever guise to deliberately refuse to use the smart card reader for the conduct of elections.
“According to the regulations and guidelines of the commission, it is negligent conduct for any ad hoc staff to refuse to use the smart card reader for the purposes of accreditation.
“Anyone who refuses to use the smart card reader or deliberately violates the use of the smart card reader is subject to prosecution in accordance to the regulations and guidelines of the commission and electoral act.”
The National Commissioner while given update on the early opening of polls across the country said that between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. for Abia the percentage of polls stood at 83 and 100 per cent for Adamawa.
He said: “Akwa Ibom stood at 98 per cent, Anambra stood at 100 per cent because what I have here is updated figure from the Election Monitoring Support Centre.
“Bauchi state between 8 am and 10 a.m. stood at 100 per cent. Bayelsa stood at 69 per cent and Benue 100 per cent.
“As at 8 a.m. 10a.m we did not receive report in relation to Borno state, after 10 a.m. we recorded the opening of polls in Borno stood at 71 per cent.
“For cross Rivers between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. we did not have report, but after 10 a.m. we have it to be 100 per cent.
“For Delta, Edo and Ebonyi state he said that the figure stood at 100 per cent as at 10 a.m, Gombe 94/per cent.”
He however, denied insinuations that the opening of polls was in favour of a certain political party.
Okoye said: “From the update, you can see that the figure varies and you cannot really pinpoint by states as they are controlled by different political parties.”
He noted that while some states were late in terms of reporting opening of polls, others were proactive.
Also answering questions on alleged polling unit with over 5,000 registered voters but supplied with only 500 ballot papers, he said that the commission had no record of any polling unit more than 5000 registered voters, except a combination of many polling units.