CSOs demand audit report of 2023 presidential, NASS elections

CITIZENS COMPASS– COALITION of Civil Society Organisations working on credible elections in Nigeria have passed a vote of no confidence in the process adopted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the just concluded Presidential and National Assembly elections.

The civil society organisations are under the aegis of Situation Room.

The Convener, Ms. Ene Obi who spoke on behalf of the coalition during a press briefing held in Abuja, on Wednesday, March 1, 2023, however, demanded the audit report of the Presidential and National Assembly election with a view to ascertaining polling units where elections did not take place

She said: “The Situation Room expected that the innovative reforms introduced by the Independent National Electoral Commission, in furtherance of the new Electoral Act 2022, will lead to efficient and accountable election management, including improved access to polling units, hitch-free accreditation and voting, accurate and transparent results collation, and effective violence mitigation.

“Contrary to the above expectations, the 2023 Presidential and National Assembly elections were marred by very poor organization, severe logistical and operational failure, lack of essential electoral transparency, substantial disruption of voting, and several incidents of violence.

“As a result, the process cannot be considered to have been credible. Given the lack of transparency, particularly in the result collation process, there can be no confidence in the results of these elections.

“In addition, there was very poor communication from INEC on election day and on its challenges with its processes; its citizens contact numbers did not work and even when there were challenges with uploads to the INEC Results Viewing (iReV) Portal.

“This is all the more disappointing since the elections were held in an atmosphere in which the people showed remarkable commitment to democracy, eagerly engaging in the electoral process and waiting patiently to vote in very difficult circumstances.

“In the light of the shortcomings outlined in this interim statement, the Situation Room calls on INEC to provide details of the process leading up to the results it collated for the elections.

“Situation Room demands that INEC provides information on why its promise to improve the transparency of the collation process through the introduction of the iReV Portal performed below expectation.

“Situation Room further demands that INEC conducts an audit of polling units where elections did not take place to establish the reasons for the failure. Situation Room also calls on INEC to note that public confidence in its capacity to run elections is gravely shaken, and that it would require extraordinary efforts for trust to be re-established.

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