INEC officials raped during presidential election

INEC chairman Prof Mahmood Yakubu
INEC chairman Prof Mahmood Yakubu

The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has said that its officials were subjected to “threats, harassment, intimidation, assault, abduction and even rape” during last week’s presidential election.

The commission said it “decried the high level of violence in a few places” but did not provide any further details in its statement.

INEC did say things were “generally peaceful”, but said it was concerned about the violence which led to some fatalities and in some cases stopped the vote taking place.

It was also critical of the behaviour of some security personnel saying: “The conduct of certain members of the security agencies in some sites is a matter of serious concern to the commission.”

“Although the elections were generally peaceful, the meeting observed and decried the high level of violence in a few places, which regrettably led to fatalities in some States, in addition to the subjugation of some of our electoral officials to threats, harassment, intimidation, assault, abduction and even rape,” Festus Okoye said in the statement.

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“The Commission condoles with the families of its ad-hoc staff who lost their lives while on this national assignment, as well as other Nigerians who died in the course of the elections. It also expresses its deep regrets to and sympathy for all victims of this mindless violence. We stand with them in these difficult times.

“The RECs were directed to submit comprehensive reports of these incidents to the Commission for appropriate action.

“The meeting also considered and received updates on preparations for the elections slated for Saturday, 9th March 2019. It expressed satisfaction with the level of preparedness and the deployment of sensitive and non-sensitive materials scheduled for delivery to the Registration Area Centres (RACS) on Friday, 8th March 2019 and noted that this was on course”, INEC added.

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