Yiaga Africa has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to protect the transparency of the result collation process by ensuring easy access to the collation centres for accredited observers and party agents.
Yiaga Africa said this at its Watching The Vote (WTV)’s Situational Press Statement on the Saturday’s Presidential Election jointly signed by Hussaini Abdu, Chairman, WTV Working Group and Samson Itodo, Executive Director.
Reading the document, Abdu called on INEC to provide clear communication on locations where the General Election did not hold and ensure the process was concluded in those locations before returns were made.
“Yiaga Africa expressed concerns about the unexplained delay in uploading polling unit results for the presidential election on the INEC Election Results Viewing Portal (IReV).
“As of 10 p.m, on election day, results for the presidential election were not uploaded on the INEC portal after voting and counting ended in several polling units.
“At 9:00 am on Feb. 26 ,INEC uploaded only 25,503 results for the presidential election on the INEC portal.
“The delay in uploading the results undermines public confidence in the results transmission process as it deviates from the guidelines for the elections and it failed to meet citizens expectations,” he said.
Abdu said that the failure of the IReV system, intended to enhance transparency, undermined public confidence in the process.
He said INEC should make publicly available all the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS ) accreditation data by polling unit, including the number of voters accredited by finger vs facial recognition.
He called on INEC to also protect the transparency of the result collation process by ensuring accredited observers and party agents were granted access to the collation centers.
Abdu called on INEC to strictly adhere to the provisions of the 2022 Electoral Act and INEC regulations and guidelines on the collation of results.
“As provided in Section 64 of the Act, collation officers and returning officers are required to compare the number of accredited voters and election results recorded on the hardcopy result sheet and scanned images on the BVAS.
“Yiaga Africa calls on INEC and security to ensure proper security for citizens especially the polling officials and collation officials as results collation progresses as INEC commences the announcement of results to ensure that no life is further lost in this elections,” he said.
Abdu said that Yiaga Africa deployed 3,836 observers throughout the country including 3,014 parallel vote tabulation (PVT) observers for the General Elections.
He said that the PVT methodology was also deployed to enable Yiaga Africa to independently assess the quality of the process and verify the accuracy of the official presidential election results announced by INEC.
“At this time, Yiaga Africa is able to provide preliminary statistically accurate data on the conduct of the election as of Feb.25 – from the opening of polling units through accreditation, voting and counting until the posting of results.
“If INEC’s results fall within Yiaga Africa’s estimated ranges, then the public, political parties and candidates should have confidence the official results reflect the ballots cast at the polling units.
“However, if the official results are manipulated at any point in the process we will be able to expose it, although only INEC has the legal mandate to announce the election results,” he said. (NAN)