By Ononye VC
The European Union Election Observer Mission (EU EOM) on Monday raised questions about the transparency of the elections in Nigeria.
In its preliminary report, the EU EOM chief cbserver, Barry Andrews, said although INEC held the elections on schedule, the process was characterised by a lack of transparency.
“Overall, stakeholders had expressed confidence in INEC’s independence, professionalism, and voter information efforts, but this decreased ahead of elections. INEC lacked efficient planning and transparency during critical stages of the electoral process, while on election day trust in INEC was seen to further reduce due to delayed polling processes and information gaps related to much anticipated access to results on its Results Viewing Portal (IReV),” he said.
Mr Andrews said their findings showed election day was marked by late deployment and opening while polling procedures were not always followed.
Additionally, polling staff in the polling units they observed struggled to complete result forms, which were later not posted online.
He said despite introducing the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) and the INEC Results Viewing Portal (IReV) to ensure the credibility of the polls, uploading the results using the BVAS did not work as expected, raising concerns.
“Millions of Nigerian voters cast their vote in the presidential, Senate and House of Representatives elections despite prevailing challenges. I commend the patience of voters as well as the commitment of youth, who have contributed hugely to the democratic process,” Mr Andrews said.