INEC warns against vote buying, clears 2,242 observers, 340 journalists for FCT poll

Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has warned political parties to shun vote buying during Saturday’s area council election in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) or face the full weight of the law.

INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, gave the warning in Abuja, yesterday, at a stakeholders’ meeting, saying said the ban on use of mobile phones and other photographic devices at voting centres is still in force.

At the parley, aspirants resolved to be peaceful and ensure a violence-free exercise.

Yakubu noted that voter inducement in all forms, including vote buying at polling units, is a violation of the law.

He disclosed that the commission has accredited 58 observer groups, deploying 2,242 field observers, including 45 media organisations deploying 340 journalists.

He said 593 polling units in the nation’s capital are without registered voters, 1,328 units have between 1-50 voters, while 546 others have over 1,000 registered voters.

Yakubu declared that election would not take place at units without registered voters, adding that materials were not produced for these units and no personnel would be deployed to them.

He said the commission reviewed the performance of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) in the recent Anambra State governorship election, noting that lessons learnt from the poll were considered in planning for the FCT poll.

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