Following the violence recorded during the rerun elections in Enugu, Kano and Akwa Ibom States, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has suspended the ongoing exercise to prevent further disruptions, irregularities and abduction of election officials.
The affected areas are Enugu South 1 State Constituency, Enugu State, Ikono/Ini Federal Constituency, Akwa Ibom State and Kunchi/Tsanyawa State Constituency, Kano State.
The electoral body made the announcement public in a statement released on Saturday by its National Commissioner & Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Sam Olumekun.
The decision came after INEC earlier said it was monitoring cases of thuggery and hijacking of electoral materials in these states.
According to the statement, elections were suspended in all eight Polling Units where the original results sheets were not available for inspection by voters before the commencement of polls in Enugu South 1 Constituency.
“Similarly in Akwa Ibom State, INEC noted that elections were suspended in two Polling Units (Village Hall, EdemUrua 003 in Ini LGA and Village Hall Mbiabong Ikot Udo 003 in Ikono LGA) where all election materials were carted away by hoodlums.
“For Kunchi/Tsanyawa State Constituency in Kano State, INEC said elections were suspended in all ten Polling Units in Kunchi LGA due to invasion, vandalization, and disruption by thugs”
The electoral umpire stressed that its decision to suspend the exercise aligned with provisions of Section 24(3) of the Electoral Act, 2022.
INEC stated that further necessary measures for the affected constituencies will be announced after the Commission’s meeting on Monday.
The electoral umpire had earlier invited the security agencies to investigate the incidents, while the Commission commits to thoroughly interrogating any breaches involving its officials.