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The United States Mission in Nigeria has reacted to last Saturday’s gubernatorial elections in Ekiti State, commending the electoral umpire, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for ‘the concerted efforts of its staff and security personnel’ during the exercise.
The U.S Mission in Lagos shared this reaction in a statement made available to Africa Daily News, New York on Thursday morning.
Recall that INEC had declared the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr Biodun Oyebanji, winner of the election.
According to the mission, the efforts made by INEC was what helped to facilitate a secure election with a credible outcome which was adjudged by many observers to be peaceful.
‘We note the election’s technical improvements including that the newly adopted Bi-modal Verification Accreditation System (BVAS) functioned properly in the vast majority of polling stations,’ it stated.
The mission went on to also encourage all citizens of Nigeria to register to vote as the country moved towards national elections in 2023.
Meahwile, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has mandated the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to prosecute all those who were arrested on allegations of vote-buying in the course of the Ekiti State governorship election.
SERAP in a short tweet which was sighted by Africa Daily News, New York on Sunday morning stated that the prosecution must not end with those caught in the act, but must be extended to the politicians who fund their election malpractice.
The group’s reaction comes on the heels of the reports of vote-buyers being arrested by operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) during the polls.
Parading some of the suspects at the Oke Ori Omi Area Division of the Nigerian Police Force, the authorities said the individuals were caught with monies allegedly used to induce voters, an act the EFCC officials say were carried out surreptitiously.