The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has commended the conduct of the governorship and House of Assembly elections, alluding to noticeable improvements from the Feb. 25 Presidential and National Assembly elections.
The NBA President, Yakubu Maikyau, SAN, said this at a virtual news conference from Kebbi, where he observed the elections.
Maikyau said that from the reports of the 210 observers the association deployed across the country, there was an improvement in INEC’s performance in the elections.
According to Maikyau, based on the preliminary reports, 33.6 per cent of NBA’s 210 election observers nationwide scored INEC high, saying the conduct of the election so far is satisfactory.
He said that according to the preliminary reports, there was significant improvement in the deployment of polling materials and personnel by INEC.
“INEC officials arrived polling units on time and voting started at 8:30 am across many polling units and this appears to be the trend across the nation.”
NBA equally reported that the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System machines, (BVAS) functioned very well during the elections and that voting ended earlier unlike the previous elections.
The association, however, said it observed that there were pockets of violence in some states, including Lagos.
“Our observers on the field said there were incidences of violence in some polling units, including Lagos State.
“In a certain polling unit, it was reported that thugs attacked voters who were not voting for a particular party.
“We have verified video report sent by our observers, which showed thugs openly announcing on the streets in Ajegunle that any voter who will not vote a particular political party should not come out to vote.”
The NBA president also said that cases of vote buying were also noticed by their observers.
“We also observed that there was vote buying across the country, even in some places where I observed the elections.
“There seems to be some discouragement among the political parties knowing that it is difficult to do so without being caught but you can also see that voters are also expecting that they will be approached for the purpose of buying their votes.”
While commending the conduct of security personnel and party agents, the association, however, observed that some polling units were not manned by security agents.
Maikyau said that the NBA would continue to update Nigerians on the outcome of the elections as it continued to receive reports from its observers on the field.