INEC refutes claims, says allegations "ridiculous"

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President Muhammadu Buhari (r) congratulating Professor Mahmood Yakubu after his takes his oath of office as chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) at the Presidential Villa in Aso Rock, Abuja on Monday, November 9, 2015 | NAN

Nigeria’s electoral body, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has denied recruiting members of the All Progressives Congress, APC, as ad hoc staff for the September 10 governorship election in Edo State.

The Resident Electoral Commissioner, Sam Olumekun, stated this on Saturday, August 20, 2016, in Benin, the state capital, in reacting to an allegation by the Ahmed Makarfi faction of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, that the commission was colluding with the All Progressives Congress, APC, to compromise the outcome of the election.

The PDP had in a statement signed by its spokesperson, Dayo Adeyeye, claimed that it had a video evidence of the alleged plan to rig the election and also vowed to resist any attempt to sabotage the exercise.

“There is a video evidence exposing INEC officials in Edo State of compromising the outcome of the governorship election before the scheduled Saturday, September 10, 2016 poll,” the PDP statement said.

“We wish to assure INEC and the APC of our cooperation for a successful election but we will not accept an election that is already compromised before the actual poll,” he added.

But Olumekun, who described the claim as “ridiculous,” said that the appropriate guideline was followed in the recruitment of ad hoc staff.

“We have recruited those who we call SPOs (Supervisory Presiding Officers). They are in charge of issuing materials to a certain number of polling units,” the INEC staffer said.

“The categories of people we recruit for this exercise are federal officials and, in this particular instance, we are using INEC staff – officers between grade level 12 and 14. We are using officers from federal institutions, National Youth Service Corps, not corps members, and the National Population Commission.”

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