The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says its monitors mobilised for the June 26 governorship primary of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Anambra state did not witness voting at the collation centres.
INEC noted that until its monitors were recalled at 5:30pm, they didn’t witness anything on accreditation, voting, counting of votes, collation, or declaration of results.
The commission, in its report on the APC primary, noted that no resolutions were made at the party’s voting centres because of the “unavailability of the election officials between 8am to 5:30pm” on Saturday.
INEC said there was a “large turnout” of APC members at voting centres across the state, but they waited in vain because the party’s election officials and materials did not show up.
“Electoral officials and materials were not available at the voting centres for the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship primaries scheduled for 26 June 2021 in Anambra State up to 5:30pm when INEC monitors withdrew from the field,” the commission said in the report.
“Contrary to the provisions of Section 18 of the guidelines for the conduct of direct primaries issued by All Progressives Congress (APC), accreditation of party members did not take place in any of the voting centres in Anambra State up to the time INEC monitors were recalled by 5:30pm.
“The commission’s monitors did not witness accreditation, voting, counting of votes, collation or declaration of result at the voting centres and collation centres up till 5:30pm when the monitors were recalled.
“Across the state, there was a large turn-out of party members at the voting centres for the APC governorship primaries who waited in vain for the arrival of party election officials and materials at the time the commission’s monitors were recalled.”
The Anambra APC primary, ahead of the November 6 governorship election, has witnessed a series of controversies, as some party members have alleged that the primary did not hold.
On Sunday, Dapo Abiodun, governor of Ogun state and chairman of the APC primary election committee, announced that Andy Uba, a former senator, won the election.
Abiodun had said Uba scored 230,201 votes, beating 13 other aspirants to emerge as the APC flagbearer.
But earlier on Saturday, 11 of the 14 governorship aspirants of APC in Anambra had claimed that the June 26 primary in the state did not hold.
On Monday, Chris Ngige, minister of labour and productivity, also alleged that the outcome of the primary announced by the Ogun governor was a “total fabrication”.
Meanwhile, INEC has given a deadline of July 1 for political parties to conclude primaries.
As such, the commission’s report may point to a possible disqualification for the APC, if the electoral body rejects the result announced by Abiodun.
Also, section 87(1) of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) states that political parties must conduct primaries for aspirants to all elective positions, while section 87(9) states that any political party that fails to comply with the provision of the act in the conduct of its primaries shall not be included in the election.