The African Bar Association has slammed the Independent National Electoral Commission for ill-preparation towards the 2023 General Elections.
In a statement by the president of the association, Hannibal Uwaifo, several irregularities marred the polls despite adequate time given time to INEC to prepare.
According to him, the AfBA, which served as an observer during the presidential and National Assembly elections, would submit a report of its observations to the Independent National Electoral Commission soon.
Uwaifo berated INEC for failing to evenly spread registered voters across polling units in many parts of the country despite having adequate time to prepare for the elections.
He said that the vast majority of Ad-Hoc staff were ill-trained to handle the pressure of an election of this year’s magnitude.
He also rued that some of the Ad Hoc staff employed by the commission for the polls were only hired a few days before the election.
He said, “There were too many people in some polling units, while there were few people in some other polling units that were created. Why this could not be sorted out before the election is part of the observations we will be pointing out to INEC because if you created more polling units, then the ones earlier created would have been decongested to admit more voters to those polling units.
“But the reverse was the case because we had situations where there were over a thousand voters in one polling unit, while other nearby polling units did not even have up to twenty voters. When we inquired, we were told that the BVAS machines had already been customised to fit into those polling units, but we believe that INEC had enough time.”
Condemning the logistical problems which caused the late deployment of men and materials to certain polling units, the president said that this was unfortunate given the time and resources at the disposal of the electoral umpire to conduct the elections.
Uwaifo, in reaction to the announcement of the election results, charged all aggrieved parties to refrain from any action capable of heating up the polity, but to approach the judiciary for a redress.