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Controversy Trails Rivers Polls

by CredibleNews

There is a raging controversy on the role played by the Nigerian Army during the March 9 Governorship Election in Rivers State.

The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, said it is not aware if soldiers interfered in the River State governorship poll marred by violence. The Army has raised a committee to look into the allegations while insisting that hoodlums in camouflage disrupted the elections.

INEC’s National Commissioner for Information and Voter Education, Festus Okoye, on Monday  explained that after the Rivers State elections were suspended, INEC went on a fact finding mission in the state and based on some discoveries, it would hold a meeting with heads of security agencies.

When asked if INEC’s investigation showed that the military rigged elections, Okoye said, “The fact finding mission that we sent to Rivers established the fact that the military intervened in some places. We saw them in INEC office and they agreed that they were at some collation centres on election day.

“We did not go out to establish the fact about who rigged elections or who did not rig. What we want to ensure is that we complete the collation of results in Rivers.

“We made a determination that the army got involved in the electoral process but whether their involvement in the process was to rig the elections, I am not in a position to make a determination on that”, said Okoye.

European Union observers had last week lamented that soldiers prevented them from monitoring the March 9 elections in Rivers State.

The British Government had also lamented the role that the army played in the state, accusing the security agency of undermining the job of INEC.

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