Kogi Election: 227 Polling Unit Results Still Missing from INEC Portal

by Ohepo Ohepo

Kimpact Development Initiative (KDI), a citizen-led democratic development organization, has discovered anomalies in the accreditation data and instances of missing ballots in the off-cycle governorship elections in the states of Kogi, Imo, and Bayelsa in November 2023.

This was disclosed in a recent KDI report.

The KDI Team Lead, Bukola Idowu, presented a report to journalists in Abuja that used the Ballot Integrity Project (BIP) to assess the overall integrity of the electoral process in the three states’ off-cycle governorship elections. The report analyzed election results data that was accessible on INEC’s Result Viewing Portal (IREV).

Mr. Idowu claims that the report revealed anomalies in the accreditation data and instances of lost ballots, demonstrating structural flaws in election administration.

“The study analyzed results from 2,202 PUs in Bayelsa State, 4556 PUs in Imo, and 3,410 PUs in Kogi State, in addition to coding all 10,168 Polling Units (PUs) form EC8A uploaded to the IReV,” he stated.

According to Mr. Idowu, INEC only offered an explanation for 75 of the 302 polling unit results that were not posted to IReV throughout the three states. “The IReV shows only 10,168 uploaded polling unit results, leaving out 302 results as of the time of this report, contrary to expectations.”

“INEC took a decisive step in responding to the controversy surrounding pre-filled result sheets in Kogi State by suspending the electoral process in 75 polling units, even though they did not specifically address the missing results.” A portion of the 302 unaccounted-for results were implied by this action. On the portal, there are still 227 polling units that are missing.

“The document also showed that there were multiple results forms in Imo State with the same handwriting in three wards (Ohaeke/Okporo, Ebenese/Umueze/nnachi Ihioma, and Ohafor/Okporo/Umutanze) in Orlu LGA. Additionally, there were multiple forms in Ogberuru/Obibi ward with the same handwriting, raising serious doubts about the validity and integrity of the election results in these areas.”

Mr. Idowu recommended that INEC conduct a transparent post-election audit process that included a close examination of the election results with an emphasis on finding and resolving any anomalies.

In response to the findings, Mrs. Anne Aderibigbe, Assistant Director of INEC’s Electoral Operations, stated that the research was only able to examine one mechanism—the IREV—which was established to ensure the uniformity and integrity of election results.

“Our back-end integrity process, such as the accreditation of the data, use of BVAS at the very first level of collation, such as the number of polling units and wards that were cancelled and has such no impact to the final declaration of the results,” she commented, adding that the researchers are not granted access to this information.

According to Aderibigbe, the commission used the results verification and collation support system, which was set up at the ward collation level. The system is a crucial and relevant integrity check for ballots, procedures, and BVAS.

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