Election: ‘INEC Showed Lack Of Transparency At Critical Stage’— EU Observers Say In Preliminary Report
The European Union Election Observation Mission to Nigeria 2023 says it observed an alleged lack of transparency on the part of the Independent National Electoral Commission at the early and critical stage of the presidential election process.
Chief Observer, EU Election Observation Mission to Nigeria 2023, Barry Andrews, disclosed this on Monday while presenting the Mission’s preliminary report to newsmen in Abuja.
He said , “Overall, stakeholders expressed confidence in INEC’s independence and professionalism and voter information efforts earlier in the process, however there was lack of efficient planning during critical stages as well as a lack of transparency.”
He explained that the election day was marked by late deployment while polling procedures were not always followed.
“Polling staff struggled to complete result forms, which were not posted publicly in most polling units observed.
“The introduction of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) and the INEC Results Viewing Portal (IReV) were perceived as an important step to ensure the integrity and credibility of the elections.
“However, uploading of the results using the BVAS did not work as expected and presidential election result forms started to appear on the portal very late on election day, raising concerns,” the EU observed.
The EU chief said that Nigerians, particularly the youths, went to the polls in highly anticipated national assembly and presidential election.
The EU also observed that there was a volatile and challenging environment during the polls resulting in insufficient planning by INEC and insecurity.
The EU also found out that the prevailing naira scarcity affected the electoral umpire and relevant stakeholders.
“Fundamental freedom of movement and assembly was largely respected,” he added.