The Independent National Electoral Commission (Inec) will soon receive from the fact-finding committee it set up for the governorship and state House of Assembly elections in Rivers State.
The Chief Press Secretary to the Inec chairman, Rotimi Oyekanmi, who stated this on Friday, explained that the commission would study the report of the committee and decide on the next line of action.
Oyekanmi made the disclosure in response to enquiries by journalists. He, however, did not give the date when the decision would be taken.
“The Rivers State fact-finding committee is back and will submit its report to the commission, which will study it and decide on the next line of action. You will hear from us when the commission takes a decision,” he said.
Our correspondent had reported that Inec had suspended the governorship and House of Assembly elections in Rivers State till further notice following violence and threat to the lives of voters and the ad-hoc staff of Inec.
Inec set up a fact-finding committee to assess the situation and present a report within 48 hours.
A statement by Inec National Commissioner and the Chairman of its Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, had said that members of the commission’s staff were being taken hostage while materials, including result sheets, were either seized or destroyed.
He had said, “Based on reports from our officials in the field, Inec has determined that there has been widespread disruption of elections conducted on March 9, 2019 in Rivers State.
“These initial reports suggest that violence occurred in a substantial number of polling units and collation centres; staff have been taken hostage and materials, including result sheets, have either been seized or destroyed by unauthorised persons.
“In addition, safety of our staff appears to be in jeopardy all over the state and the commission is concerned about the credibility of the process.”
He added, “Consequently, at a meeting held today (Sunday) March 10 2019, the commission has decided to suspend all electoral processes in the state until further notice.
“This is in line with Section 26 of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended) and Clause 47(e) of the regulations and guidelines of the commission.
“The commission has also established a fact-finding committee to assess the situation and report back within 48 hours.”