Postponement: INEC retrieves already distributed sensitive materials across Nigeria

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To ensure the integrity of the rescheduled presidential and
parliamentary elections, the Independent National Electoral Commission
(INEC), has retrieved sensitive materials already distributed to most
states of the federation.

The materials were distributed last week in preparation for the
February 16 election. However, hours before the commencement of the
elections, the INEC chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, announced a

Yakubu gave challenges of distribution of materials as the reason for
the postponement. The presidential elections were thus postponed to
February 23 while state elections were postponed to March 9 from March

Yakubu said the postponement would afford the electoral body the
opportunity to address the identified challenges in order to maintain
the quality of Nigeria’s election. 

Prominent civic groups like the Centre for Democracy and Development
(CDD) and the Inter Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) raised concerns
about the safety and integrity of the already distributed materials
such as result sheets and card readers.

However, to ensure the materials do not fall into the wrong hands,
INEC has withdrawn them from its various local government and offices
for safe keeping. Some of the states where this withdrawal has
occurred include Lagos, Anambra, Enugu, and Plateau.

The INEC in Lagos state on Sunday said it had retrieved all sensitive
materials for the rescheduled Presidential and National Assembly
elections earlier distributed to the 20 local government areas of the

INEC spokesman in Lagos state, Femi Akinbiyi, told the News Agency of
Nigeria in Lagos that all sensitive materials had been retrieved and
kept in the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) under security watch.

He said  the sensitive materials, which comprised ballot papers and
result sheets, had been distributed at the three senatorial districts
before they were later moved to the 20 LGAs.

Akinbiyi said the Lagos State Commissioner of Police had monitored the
exercise in some local governments.

“The instruction from the INEC headquarters was that all sensitive
materials should be moved back to the CBN and the Commissioner of
Police in Lagos state was in Ikeja today to supervise such movement.

“The movement across the state was done under tight security,” he said.

According to him, all card readers earlier deployed to each local
government area have been returned to the INEC office in Yaba for

The INEC spokesperson added that all ad-hoc staff had been paid their
training allowances for the postponed elections.

The INEC in Anambra on Sunday said it has taken delivery of all the
sensitive electoral materials earlier deployed for the February 16
presidential and National Assembly elections.

Leo Nkedife, INEC Head Voter Education and Publicity, told the News
Agency of Nigeria in Awka that the action was necessitated to secure
the materials.

The spokesman said that all ballot papers and result sheets have been
recalled and deposited at the CBN Awka branch while the smart card
readers were returned to INEC office for safe keeping.

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