The Independent National Electoral Commission in Ogun State has admitted that 6,053 ballot papers were missing from the batch meant for the House of Representatives election in Imeko-Afon Local Government Area of the state.
Head of Department of Voters Education and Publicity for INEC in the state, Mrs. Adenike Tadese, confirmed that there was a shortfall of ballot papers in the council, but she said there was no cause for alarm.
She said the Electoral Officer had already held stakeholders’ meeting to inform the office of what transpired, promising that the shortfall will be provided.
Six thousand and fifty-three (6,053) ballot papers meant for the House of Representatives election in Imeko-Afon LGA had been declared missing.
The African Democratic Congress in the State on Friday asked the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Prof. Abdulganiyu Raji, to produce the missing ballot papers.
The ADC, in a petition, addressed to the REC, alleged that out of 62,853 ballot papers meant for the election in the area, 6,053 were missing.
The petition was jointly signed by ADC candidate for Yewa North/Imeko-Afon Federal Constituency, Jimoh Aremu Olaifa; ADC chairman in the LG, Kayode Elegbede; and the party’s agent, Ben Ibikunle.
They expressed surprise that the 62,853 ballot papers meant for presidential and senatorial election in the council were completed.
The petitioners asked the REC to produce the missing ballots “immediately to safeguard the credibility of this election and nip in the bud ongoing speculation that can threaten law and order in the local government.”
The petition partly reads, “Records from our agents at the Ogun State INEC office showed that a total of 62,853 ballot papers were released from the state office for Imeko-Afon LG.
“However, at the Imeko-Afon INEC office, only 56,790 ballot papers were physically sighted and counted by our agent, agents of other political parties and security personnel, leaving a shortage of 6,053 ballots papers as above.
“Interestingly, the same number of 62,843 ballot papers released for the Presidential and senatorial elections was physically sighted and counted by all concerned at the INEC office, Imeko Afon.”
When contacted, the Head of Department of Voters Education and Publicity for INEC in the state, Mrs. Adenike Tadese, confirmed that there was shortfall of ballot papers in the council, but she explained that there is no cause for alarm.
“The carton was never tampered with, it was when they got there (Local Government) that they realised that some ballot papers were missing.
“The Electoral Officer had already held stakeholders’ meeting to inform them of what transpired.
“So, there is no shady deal about that. We have already requested for the shortfall, which will be given to us. So, there is no problem about it.”
Source: Punch News