Edo Polls: Group Urges INEC To Protect Ballot Papers 

The Centre for Good Governance (CGG),  has urged the Resident Electoral Commissioner in Edo State  to maintain the integrity of the recently conducted governorship election in the State by protecting the ballot papers and other sensitive materials used during the September 28, 2016  election.

In a press statement,  released to the media on Thursday, and signed by its Executive Director, Mr.  Clement Osahon, the Centre for Good Governance (CGG), said it has come to its knowledge that a particular party who contested and lost the governorship election is covertly making overtures to INEC staff at the local government level to mutilate,  destroy and burn the ballot papers in order to make their intended case at the Election Petition Tribunal easy for them.

The statement reads in parts:  “We call on INEC to be alive to its responsibility to maintain the credibility of the recent election.  We are most reliably informed of the attempts by desperate politicians too bribe INEC staff to either release used and unused ballot papers to them or to help them destroy papers.  This, they believe in their machination,  will make their lost case easy for them at the election tribunal.”

“The question is that: if this party actually won the election,  as its candidate is falsely claiming,  why will their leaders be planning to destroy ballot papers,  ahead of filing their case at the tribunal? “

“INEC has a constitutional obligation,  to safeguard not only the used and unused ballot papers,  but also,  all the official documents used for the election,  including results sheets and their duplicates”, the group stated; noting that the said materials belong to the INEC and “no political party or candidate can or should have access to the sensitive documents without seeking and obtaining an order to that effect duly given by the tribunal. ”

The group also urged INEC to provide adequate security for its personnel and also put them under close watch as the materials are moved from the various local governments to the state head office at he State capital.

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